Picked this strange thing up some time ago and still don't quite know what to make of it. The seller was a highly respected gallery out West and told a weird story with it citing some connection to Bulgaria and a political leader/General there being gifted this thing while on state business in Croatia. Bizarre story aside(we all know what to think about Stories...)the workmanship of this piece is Very high quality and the wood shows appropriate age. And, yes-the photos are lousy. If needed, I can try some better ones out in the sunlight. It is definitely not pre-aged and, for what it's worth, the carving is superbly done and all by hand. It's about a foot long and 8 inches wide and is solid and heavy-several pounds. I'll say here, that I don't believe that it's a modern made tourist piece, simply for the very high quality of the carving and the workmanship, the aging to the wood and that I didn't pay an absurd amount for it. The gallery it came from didn't appear to know all that much about it either and the story passed along with it, I got the impression the guy was genuinely trying to include it with it out of thinking that it was legitimate, but who knows. As for the item itself, the odd part on the right hand side of it is lined with some kind of tin and swivels out. It does not come off. The lid hinges are brass and not new. Beneath the bottom, the hand carved feet show contact aging and are sturdily attached. I'm not all that sure about the varnish or seal that's been applied to it or when it was done, but it's been on there quite some time, so I'm not playing with it. So...there it is. Is it Period? I have to say that I think it is likely. What was it for and why was it made and for whom? It's definitely unique and I've not seen anything even remotely like it. What a strange little thing....but it is what it is, I guess.