This beautiful little enamel over copper box in the shape of an egg was produced in the 1970s by Bilston & Battersea Enamels in England. The craft of enameling over copper to produce small boxes used for snuff or ladies beauty marks (known as patches) was popular in the 1700's but passed out of favor by the early 1800's.
Susan Benjamin, owner of Halcyon Days, an antique store in London, spearheaded the revival of the craft and produced the first Bilston & Battersea Enamels designed by Halcyon Days in 1970. In 1980, the name was changed to Halcyon Days Enamels. The beautiful little boxes have become extremely collectible and continue to be produced.
This egg shaped box was one of the original Bilston & Battersea boxes from the 1970's, with the oval Bilston and Battersea mark on the interior, and the turquoise presentation box. The clasp closes tightly. The brass bezel is shiny and in excellent condition. The saying that rings the egg states "Do think of me when this you see; tho' many miles we distant be."
The enamel base is white with a stylized trellis of pink roses surrounding the top and bottom all around the egg. The interior contains only the Bilston and Battersea mark. It comes with a brass ring type stand to display the egg upright.
The enamel egg box is in excellent condition. It measures 2.25" long and about 1.25" in diameter at the bezel. It comes in the original turquoise box with velvet interior, which has some slight wear. The interior of the lid states "By appointment to H. M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Halcyon Days Ltd. London Suppliers of Objects D'Art." According to Susan Benjamin in her book, The First 25 Years of Halcyon Days Enamels, "Between 1972 and 1987 we were honoured to be granted their [the British Royal Family] royal warrants as the first ever 'Suppliers of Objects d'Art' and one of just ten firms to hold all four royal warrants." Also enclosed is the original Certificate of Origin signed "Susan" in the corner which describes the history of the craft.
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