The Public Paperfolding History Project

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The Chrysanthemum and the Chrysanthemum Box
This page attempts to record what is known about the history of the design known as the Chrysanthemum and it's derivative design the Chrysanthemum Box. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

The Chrysanthemum Box also appears as a component of Multiple Layer Collapsible Boxes / Zhen Xian Bao.


In China (and in publications by Chinese authors)


As far as I know boxes of this design first appear in the historical record as the top layer of boxes in a Zhen Xian Bao acquired from France in 2015 by Joan Sallas for the collection of the Padore library. An accompanying letter states that it was made in Paris by Laurent Sui as a gift for Madame Burgot. The letter is dated 28th August 1866.



Diagrams for both the 'Chrysanthemum' and the 'Chrysanthemum Box' appear in 'Zhe zhi tu shuo' (Illustrated Paperfolding), compiled by Gui Shaolie, which was published by the Commercial Press in Shanghai in Ming guo 3 (1914).



The design also appears, as 'Flowered Candy Box' in 'The Art of Chinese Paper folding for Young and Old' by Maying Soong, which was published by Harcourt Brace and Company in New York in 1948.


In Western Europe and the Americas


The earliest publication of this design in the West that I am aware of is under the title of 'Le Sachet a Foulards' (The Box for Scarves) in 'La Nature' 2866 of 1st October 1931.