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Antique English Victorian era papier mache jewelry box or sewing box, inlaid with mother of pearl and hand painted and decorated. A lovely serpentine and domed lid elevates this box to one we'd expect to see signed "Jennens & Bettridge" on bottom, but the signature isn't on this one. I do think it is a J&B box, however. There is not a single chip on any of the undulating outer ripples of this box, and no breaks at the hinge (typically a weak point in these old ones). Dating c.1850s, this was one of the most popular decorative goods, and the amazing pressed and moldable material "papier mache", was used in everything from small cases for photos to large furniture pieces, but the most popular among them were mostly boxes like this one, beautiful to look at.
Very good to excellent for age and type, no chips or cracks, no warp. The only flaws I can see to mention would be that a couple of the inlaid flats of mother of pearl which would be showing there on the top have come loose. You can examine the places where those would have been. The flats of mother of pearl would have been painted, as well, and light reflective through the paint and around it from that old pearlescent shimmer beneath was part of what made these appealing. A little loss to the hand painted gold trim, as well, which is very normal. Some light surface crazing, too, which is also very normal. No break at the hinges, interior probably held sewing items on a fitted tray that is no longer with this box. A lovely bouquet of hand painted flowers grace both top and front of box. Interior silk has lost color but is mostly all there. (see images). Box is 7" x 5.5" and is 3" tall when closed.
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Antique Victorian Papier Mache Jewelry or Sewing Box, Hand Painted Florals, VGC
San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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