AMERICAN FEDERAL INLAID MAHOGANY MINIATURE BOX
Lid signed "Josiah Shaw, Boston, 1827"
Item # 1402MUP21PP
A positively precious work preserved from the first quarter of the 19th century, this little American box is a precise and flawlessly executed work of art. The top is a solid piece of mahogany with an original brass bail handle affixed through the lid with cotter pins, molded around the edges with a bold bead along the lower edge, lifting on original brass hinges with hand cut steel screws to reveal a clean interior. The underside of the lid is signed in period scrawl "Josiah Shaw, Boston .... 1827" just below the original hand filed steel lock clasp. The case of the box is joined with beautiful little dovetails, the end grains facing forward and retaining a deeper tone to frame the facade of the front neatly. The center of the front is inlaid with an ebonized diamond framing a heart, either in satinwood or fruitwood. The bottom of the box is a piece of white pine surrounded by a complicated mahogany molding, an enlarged and graduated cousin to the molding around the rim.
This is a rare and highly treasured find for serious collectors of early Americana. Retaining an early (not original) and well preserved surface, the only replacement being a single piece of molding replaced, this signed work is a positively outstanding selection.
Measurements: 13 3/8" wide x 6 1/8" deep x 6 5/8" high
Condition Report: All hardware and key original - key with some loss and bending to decorative top. Trim molding on left side of top replaced. Old stress crack to rear right corner of the top from pull of hinge when left hanging open. Well preserved surface under wax.