During the high fashion period of the Victorian Era detachable starched collars and cuffs were a necessary part of a well-dressed gentleman's attire. A special container was needed to keep this accessory organized and protected. Many of the collar and cuff boxes were constructed of celluloid, developed in England by Alexander Parkes in 1855. In the 1860's, an American, John Wesley Hyatt, acquired Parkes's patent.
This wonderful, ivory colored, Victorian celluloid collar box, circa 1875-1900, is understated elegance. The beautiful embossed motif starts with the oval or teardrop lid portraying the word "Cuffs" among bouquets of rose blossoms nestled among leafy foliage. The sides are a panorama of scroll-like leafy branches laden with unopened floral buds. The blue silk lining is in good condition and the metal clasp and hinges are original, secure and function well. The celluloid is intact; no cracks, chips, repairs or loose pieces; there is one small piece missing that appears could have been a bubble in the celluloid that burst and pealed away (see photo). The box measures 6 1/2" in length, 5" across and 5 1/4" in height. Wonderful piece from the Victorian era.
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