DESCRIPTION: An unusual and quite old (18th C.) copper box toggle in the form of a peach, the Chinese symbol of longevity. Probably used as both a toggle and tobacco container, the two halves have a tightly fitting overlapping seal, with two loops forming the hinge at the stem point. This large solid copper toggle has a rich, aged patina and is in fine condition with minor signs of wear, as to be expected. DIMENSIONS: Approximately 2 1/4” long, tip to tip (5.7 cm) x 1 ¾” diameter (4.5 cm).
ABOUT CHINESE TOGGLES: Chinese toggles (Guajian) are the precursors of the Japanese netsuke by many centuries, and acted as counter weights to hang objects from the belt or sash. While toggles share similarities with their Japanese counterparts, they set themselves apart since most were fashioned by the user rather than by established artists as was the case in Japan. Since Chinese robes did not include pockets, toggles were attached by a cord to a waist sash for personal items such as tobacco pouches, pipes, eating sets, money or other items. Usually worn by men, they are most often made of wood, but toggles can also be found in jade, ivory and semiprecious stone. These beautiful folk objects reflected the expression and identity of their creators, and became amulets that were worm, fondled, and cherished for their ability to bestow good fortune, longevity, fertility, happiness and health.