This is a nicely executed marquetry box from the late 19th century. The marquetry design must have been a labor of love to complete and appears on all sides. As an unusual touch, on the lid and on the front there are two glass panel inserts. Under the panel on the top there is a printed phrase, "May you always be loved by those whom you love." Under the glass panel on the front there is a rural scene showing a fence, country road and a body of water. This scene appears to have been taken from some printed material. On the underside of the lid there is an early heart shaped mirror that is obviously original to the piece. Much of the silvering has flaked off. A lock is present but the key is missing. The keyhole was covered at one time with an escutcheon. The only remaining piece of the mother-of-pearl escutcheon was found inside of the box along with the two mounting screws. The box measures 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and about 4 ½ inches tall. Inside it is lined with dark green velour that is now soiled and worn. The same velour covers the bottom of the box as well. There are also two rails that were clearly intended to support a tray that is now missing. There are no insect holes that we have been able to locate anywhere on the box. Splits appear in some of the veneer, but they are consistent with the age of the box. All veneer is tight. The marquetry is done with a variety of woods, selected for grain and color. A rich glowing patina covers the box overall and there is a finish on all surfaces except the underside. It appears that some restoration might have been done to the finish at one time. The construction is still sound and the condition is excellent. It can be used as it is and would make a very unusual jewelry box, desk caddy, or dresser box. This is a piece of fine handcrafted workmanship that was made to last and has withstood the tests of time.
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