A finely executive elephant ivory seal paste box from the late Meiji period. The cover features a pair of elephants marching around the edges, while the center medallion is engraved with the face of a screeching monkey. The carvings are lightly heightened with ink or another pigment to bring out the details. The elephant often symbolized intellectual strength, while the monkey was thought to ward off evil spirits and thieves. The lid still fits tightly.
Origin: Japan, ca. 1910. Condition: excellent, both portions have crazing, but no open cracks. Size: 2-9/16” diameter; 1-9/16” high.