This handsome Chinese box was hand carved of rosewood in the form of a chayote squash. In China, the chayote is known as the "Buddha's Hand Melon." Their shoots are relished in stir fry dishes, giving rise to chayote's other nickname "dragon-whisker vegetable."
The beauty of this box lies in the classic simplicity of the Chinese master carver's work. The shapely body of the squash is smooth and sculpted. The lid is carved with leaves and tendrils in relief and is surmounted at the top with a stem that curves under the box to provide a raised "foot." The lower portion of the box's bottom has been cleverly smoothed flat, so the box gracefully rests evenly on any surface.
The rosewood was expertly worked for this box, so that it is not shiny, but appears to glow from within the grain. The box measures 5 1/2 inches long, about 3 inches wide at the bottom and stands about 3 inches high. In superb condition, with no cracks, chips or fading, it is a delightful piece of vintage Chinese carving.