Chinese boxes  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Chinese boxes are a set of boxes of graduated size, each fitting inside the next larger box.

A traditional style in Chinese design, nested boxes have proved a popular packaging option in the West for novelty or display reasons.

The Russian matryoshka doll is a modern interpretation of this form.

As with the above example, such Chinese nested boxes have inspired similar forms of packaging around the world, but also have found use as a figurative description, providing an illustrative example to demonstrate situations of conceptually nested or recursive arrangements.

In literature a Chinese box structure refers to a novel or drama that is told in the form of a narrative inside a narrative (and so on), giving views from different perspectives. Examples include Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein and Jostein Gaarder's The Solitaire Mystery.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chinese boxes" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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