Of German origin, this wonderfully unusual item dates from the late 19th century when the African country of Cameroon was a colony of Germany. The wording painted onto one of the windows – Kamerun im Zukunft – translates into English as ‘Cameroon in the future’.
The ‘house’ is made from red silk and plush, with painted windows, door and figures. The male figure leans out of the window, contentedly smoking a cigar, while the lady sits on the doorstep doing some sewing. Taken with the wording, I read the picture as describing a rosy future for the inhabitants of Cameroon under German rule!
There is metal strapwork on the plush roof, and a chimney in which a metal thimble sits.
When the house lid is lifted off, an interior fitted with five bone sewing tools is revealed on one side while on the other there is a small oval mirror.
Measures 4 ½ inches wide, 4 ¼ inches high excluding the chimney, and 3 ½ inches deep.
Condition: generally in very nice antique condition. In particular the front is good with little or no loss to the painting. At the back there are a few marks including a stain on the roof where something has been spilled.
Interesting Novelty House-Shaped Sewing Companion