Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Second Box

This is the second box that I inherited from my Aunt Minnie. No one knows who made it. A few years ago, our church had an 'antiques roadshow' event, with a few antique dealers from town. We brought this box, and were told that it was handmade, probably by a sailor during a long voyage, as a gift for someone back home...his mother, wife or sweetheart.
The reason the appraiser guessed it was made by a sailor was this inlaid motif on the top. It is a nautical symbol, and the woods used are from eastern countries. It is amazingly well-done.

The box is edged with a different wood, and the corner joints are hand-made with yet a different wood.

The keyhole (key long lost) is made from pure ivory, as are the little round handles on the compartment covers inside. Again, the ivory suggests someone who was visiting foreign parts.

There are two little hinges on the back of the lid...and you open the box to reveal a tray with two small compartments and a larger one. I keep some old things inside...inherited jewelry from Grandma's I never knew, a small photo of my Mom in high school, old-fashioned calling cards from the 1800's, a stash of handmade handkerchiefs and ladies' gloves from the 40's and 50's.

You lift the tray out to reveal the bottom portion of the box. It is nice for storing some old things, and I'm always in awe of what can be made by hand, with a little skill and patience. The two small compartments are not the same size, and the lids are not interchangeable. Another mark of being handmade. Our appraiser guessed that the box was probably made in the late 1700's. That would make my little box the oldest item we own.

1 comment:

Peter Jones said...

wow. It's so interesting and beautiful!