This exquisite lidded box would have served as a container for medicine or a lady's cosmetics. It was made during the Tang dynasty (618-907), an era when China was in close contact with the Middle East and the West and trade flourished along the famous Silk Road.
During this period Chinese craftsmen made a great many gold and silver objects, many of them inspired by arts and crafts of other cultures. This circular box, however, is not influenced by foreign design. Its fine workmanship makes it a precious object in its own right.