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Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
Sewing  Boxes 
 Sewing Boxes




Antique  Papier Mâchè Fully Fitted Sewing  box,  circa 1840.
Antique  Papier Mâchè,  fully fitted Sewing  box circa 1840 and decorated partly on a mother of pearl ground.

The top is decorated with a painting of waterside buildings with figures in the foreground giving added interest. It is clearly the work of a professional talented artist. 

This type of work is an indication that the box was probably made in Wolverhampton, where artists had set up studios for such work. (See: Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society 1700--1880 Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly, pages 82-86. ISBN: 0764316885)

On the front and sides there are depictions of garlands of flowers.   

It measures:  11"by 8.5" and 4.5" tall. 

Please click on the images to enlarge them in a separate window.



The spool tops are both turned and carved and are in the form of stylized daisies. 

Thread by this time was supplied wound which would be put on these. The other end of the spool is bone. The central part is composed of a cylinder and a rod and comes apart to enable the thread spool to be put on it. 


The flower painting has an iridescence which is achieved by the use of a mother of pearl background painted with tinted varnish. Horse chestnut and  oak leaves are recognizable as well as honeysuckle and wild roses.



The quality of the painting is particularly good and is clearly the work of an artist. 

This and other images can be magnified by clicking on the image. 



The lift-out tray has a set of six mother of pearl spools. These are both turned and carved in the form of stylized daisies. The same form of  daisy handle is also on two of the compartments 

There is also a waxer and thimble. 






The box is decorated on  the front and sides with depictions of garlands of flowers.  





For the historical context of this box read the relevant part of Antigone's Online Antique Box Book. If you click here you will go there.

We have written a highly  illustrated book on Antique Boxes and Tea caddies  which is being  published by  Schiffer Books USA. 

  © 2003 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly