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Mystery thrift store find... What is it???

Hi, everyone. :) Today I found a mystery, wooden, semi-circular decor-like item at a thrift store. I like the colors and textures of the shells, pinecones, and other things in the little windows, and I'm thinking of hanging it as a wall decoration in my little girl's room. However, I have no idea what this thing was originally designed to be. There is a strange rectangular tray/slot (about 1.5" wide, 5" long, 2" deep) on the top of it, and it is hollow in the back. The tray is removable and made of plastic. On the bottom there's a little sticker that says "A Price Import, Taiwan." Any clue? This could be one component of a larger piece of some kind? Or a stand-alone thing? Or does anyone know of a forum/website for this type of question, ha! See pictures attached.
320 x 240 - 32K
320 x 240 - 34K
320 x 240 - 33K


  • My guess is that it is intended to be a planter box of some sort - with a plant in the upper portion. Have never seen anything like this, so just a shot in the dark!! LOL
  • What are the dimensions for the whole thing? I like the planter idea. I lived in China for 10 years (still a somewhat different culture from Taiwan though). Could it be something that would be used in the kitchen, for instance like a toothpick holder, or a little decorative salt holder (if it looks like it could have had a lid)? Lots of Chinese kitchens (where they cook hot meals at least twice a day) would put cooking condiments (Salt, soy sauce, suger) in decorative little tins and boxes.
  • TraceyBTraceyB Adelaide, Australia
    I am wondering if it is a little decorative home shrine of some sort for prayer, offerings etc? The little rectangular box could hold sand for incense sticks or candles? Just a guess as I am no expert, but I think most followers of Eastern religions have some sort of home shrine.
  • Thanks for the ideas, everyone! Wish I had taken better pictures. In response to the question, it's approx 10" long and maybe 5 or 6" deep, at the deepest part? So it's pretty chunky. Love the ideas. Thinking about using it for crayons in a future work space for my girl. Seems a shame to not use that strange compartment, ha!
  • haverwenchhaverwench Highland Park, NJ
    If it weren't so small, I'd say it was some sort of half-round end table. My guess is that the insert on top was meant as an ashtray back in the days when smoking indoors was the norm.

  • DiyRound1DiyRound1 Nashville, TN
    My mom has one of these at her house!!! I have not ever seen another one! I have zero clue what it is... her mom bought it at a flea market years ago. In our house it has always hung on the wall as a decorative storage piece... I want to know if anyone else has ever had one!
  • My Aunt had something similar. It sat in a window (like a window AC unit) and provided a nesting area for birds. She could see the family of birds closer.
  • beachglassbeachglass Washington, D.C.
    I know my parents had one of these growing up but have no clue what it was for! Seeing that flower behind the glass just brought back a rush of memory. Will have to ask them and if they have any insight, will share with you!
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