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I have had this box for some time and a dealer wanted to buy it but I told him I have to know what it is and what it was used for so he suggested this fomat.  This beautiful hand cut dovetailed box is very well made.  It was all hand made, not done at a factory.  I don't see anything that leads me to believe it ever had a lid.  The large opening is a galvanized tin insert that show rust or wear from water being in it about half way up.  This galvanized insert can be removed.  Next to the large opening is a smaller opening that a mouse has chewed to get into the drawer below, which is missing the pull..  Beautiful handcut dovetails and handcut handle openings.  The corners all have wooden pegs thru them.  This was purchased at a farm auction a long time ago and it came with a large assortment of feed sacks.  I was told it could have been a "hucksters" box, he put items for sale inside and sold off the back of a wagon.  Also told it could have been a salesmans sample for a dry sink???  That is all I know, I have loaded several pictures, hoping someone might know more than I do...  Thanks!

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I guess it could have started out as a voting/ballot box and then someone lined it with galvinized tin and used it as a milk/porch box... If I could just get this thing to talk we would have all the answers...................
This is a Japanese Hibachi. If the hardware was still there, you would have immediately recognized it as an Oriental piece of furniture. The wood is oriental persimmon wood. The copper lined portion was filled with sand, and that is where hot coals were placed for cooking. A lot of these were brought back by GI's stationed in Occupied Japan and Korea. I have purchased several of these at estate auctions, where they are always offered as 'Planters'. Search Google for 'Japanese Hibachi' and you will find several examples.
Thanks, Don! You are absolutely right! There is a burn mark on the top edge, I read that they were used as a heat source because they do not have Central Heating in Japan. They say it is common to be missing some of the hardware so I will find a pull to fit and put it on the drawer. The fellow that had this auction was of the age to have been in WW2. It looks like some go for more money than others, not sure what mine is worth but maybe the old "it's worth what someone will pay for it" applies here.. Thanks again!!
WOW, this is amazing. I am so happy someone finally figured it out!
Connie
Here is a photo of one in my collection. As you can see, a glass insert makes it more useful as a small coffee table or chest. I intend to fill the metal tray with interesting rocks.

As far as price, I have seen asking prices all over the map - $35-$450. You will need to find some authentic drawer pulls for it if you want to get a better price.
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Don,

Thanks again for the info on this piece.. Do you know what the open area above the drawer was used for and what the purpose of the drawer was?? I will search ebay for a drawer pull, any certain kind?? Thanks again, Kevin.
I have never seen any pictures showing what goes in the drawers or the additional sunken area next to the lined one, but someone must know. I tried to take photos of some drawer pulls in my collection, but they came out dark so I will try it again tomorrow when the light is better..
I finally remembered to take a few daylight shots. These drawer pulls are copper, but hand forged iron would probably be appropriate as well.
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Hi Don ... VERY impressive imfo. on the Jap hibachi . You are indeed a true expert !!! Sincerely , Lane

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