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Rare antique polychrome penwork box  circa 1820

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Description:
Ref: JB608
A rare Regency polychrome penwork box with tapering  sides and pyramid top standing on gilded embossed feet. The  colors are particularly rare. The  decorated in penwork,  depicts stylized representations of fantastical flowers and leaves. The penwork is within the tradition of fabric design which was popular during the 18th century. Such designs drew their inspiration both from eastern work and from European 16th and 17th century embroidery designs.

Origin: UK  Circa: 1820.  Materials: sycamore decorated with penwork..

Size:  28.2 cm wide by 21.7 cm by  11.7 cm including feet:  11.1  inches wide by  8.5  inches by  4.6  inches including feet.

Condition: good overall; The inside has been relined with handmade marbled paper and velvet working lock and key; see images

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The inside has been relined with handmade marbled paper and has removable velvet pads, making the box suitable for jewelry or trinkets. 

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This box is an embodiment of  Regency taste and style.

 

See: Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880

"There was renewed interest in the Physic Garden in Chelsea, in London, which had been gathering plants and momentum since the 17th century. During the 18th century, under royal patronage, the gardeners at the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew were accumulating and cataloguing specimens, both for the erudition and the pleasure of an inquiring public. The cult of visiting gardens and Spa towns and taking walks in the surrounding countryside was encouraged by the easier traveling conditions and the increase in suitable accommodation.

"King George III himself was a keen botanist. This royal inclination, promoted the observation and rendition of flora in art form as a serious and fashionable pastime. Intrepid travelers like Lady Anne Monson (1714-76), wandered around strange countries painting plants. Botanists accompanied Captain Cook to Botany Bay and brought back a plethora of new plants and seeds. On their return to England , they actively encouraged and advised aristocratic patrons on expanding their horticultural interests. The Duchess of Portland was such a patron. She not only took a very keen and active interest in the development of her gardens, she also commissioned professionals, to supply her with botanical drawings and paintings."

 

 The gilded embossed feet make the box look as if it could walk across the table.

The red painted cavetto molding is framed by an inlay of alternating boxwood and ebony.

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 Front

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 side

 

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Detail: The gilded embossed drop ring handles have a classical inspiration.

 

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2011 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com