Mahogany Tea Box with Marquetry

This example is a modern decorative reproduction of an 18th century mahogany tea box design. It has an inlaid wooden marquetry design in the outside surfaces, brass hinges and a brass handle, all made to mimic the look of a real antique box. These types of items may typically be found in interior design centers or retail stores with specialty departments for 'nostalgic' decorative items.

Mostly these kinds of items are not specifically made for the purpose of being deceptive to collectors, but instead are intended to fulfill a decorative need in an interior living space. Inside the box on the left is an applied and very obvious brass label that reads, "Hand Crafted by Southampton." The construction of this box and its complete lack of patina would easily prevent it from being able to fool an expert or dedicated collector, even if its interior label were removed. But if removed and the surfaces of the box roughed-up some to give it the false appearance of being 'time-worn' or exhibiting other condition characteristics found on truly old wooden boxes, it's possible an item like this could be made to fool someone less adept into believing it to be the real thing.

The crafting of wooden antique reproduction, furniture or utilitarian boxes, has been going on for hundreds of years. Knowing this and educating yourself about construction characteristics, woods and even the nails or screws with which authentic items were assembled, can be most beneficial in helping one to avoid paying for an antique, while buying a fake.

Measures 11 inches by 6 inches by 6 1/2 inches.

Item ID: 2007RP000289

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies

Ruby Lane, Comparisons, CA   

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