Exquisitely painted, small, round, papier-mch and lacquer boxes are sought after today for their beauty and the high level of craftsmanship they demonstrate. For the many admirers of these boxes, and students of the European cultural society in which they were made (in the early part of the nineteenth century), Detley Richter has written this careful account of the artistic, manufacturing, and commercial climates which were combined in the production of lacquered boxes. His well-researched text and over 350 illustrations are arranged into chapters which explain the manufacturing and artistic processes, important makers and their signatures, various uses, leading collections, and evolving traditions of the boxes in German, French, English, Russian, and other societies. That lacquered boxes are recognized as things of beauty is apparent in the many color pictures. That they are the products of highly sophisticated social influences becomes apparent when reading the author's analysis and conclusions. This is a wonderful new contribution to information on the decorative arts.