Among the many varieties of red lacquered containers used during China's Qing and early Republic years, none has a more striking form than the humble lunch pail. An elegantly designed everyday item, it is constructed of shaped wood staves, a tall bent willow handle and a notched lid that snaps securely in place around the handle. Pails in this design also are referred to as berry pails. The recessed bottom on this one is decorated with two drawings of flowers, perhaps done by the maker of the pail or by its owner to customize it. The bottom shows wear; the rest of the container most likely was relacquered because it is in pristine condition. Dimensions: height 17" (42 cm), diameter 11" (28 cm).