American demand for exotic Chinese imports increased with the onset of direct trading between China and the United States in 1784. While President, George Washington took advantage of the wide variety of Chinese luxury goods arriving in New York and Philadelphia. He purchased several lacquerware pieces, including this lockable case, likely for use by one of his granddaughters: Martha, Eleanor, or Eliza Parke Custis. It would have held jewelry as well as costly toiletries such as powder and scented waters. More


c. 1784-1805



  • Probably retailed - United States
  • Made - China


Wood, lacquer, copper alloy, gilt


Overall: 1/2 in. x 12 1/4 in. x 9 5/8 in. (1.27 cm x 31.12 cm x 24.38 cm)


Gift of Mrs. Charles A. Conrad, 1894

Object Number



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