This is a beautiful example of the toiletry necessaries for a lady of the late 19th century. The box is of rosewood intricately decorated on the top and front with sprays of flowers and leaves and palm trees in mother of pearl. The key escutcheon is also of mother of pearl, but missing key. Inside, it is lined with beautiful deep blue velvet which is fitted in the main box and ruched inside the lid. The lid hides a secret section which can be opened with a metal slide to reveal a space for a pull-out standing mirror. The top layer of the box is fitted. At the back are two large glass perfume bottles with silver plate lids and glass stoppers. In the centre are two cylindrical silver plate–topped glass containers. Towards the front and on the right hand side there are two small glass containers similarly topped and two small glass perfume bottles again with screw tops and stoppers. There is a small pincushion. At the front is a perforated decorative silver plate top for a glass toothbrush holder which contains an original toothbrush. On the left is a similar shorter rectangular container which contains a small clothes brush. In the centre is a tool pad which includes a pair of scissors, a buttonhook, a nail file and a penknife. The original lifting tabs are present and this all then covers a small compartment. All of these items (apart from the larger bottles) are contained within a tray that can be lifted by two lifting rings for ease of access to a further compartment beneath. There is yet another surprise as on the right side of the box there is a small button which if lifted up reveals a pin. When this is lifted a triple velvet lined jewellery compartment in a sliding drawer is revealed. It is lined with patterned blue brocade. The base of the box is covered with the original green baize. The overall condition is very good for age. This is a lovely box that represents the opulence with practicality of the era and it would grace any collection. 11 ins (28cm) x 8 ins (20.3cm) x 6.5 ins (16.5cm). Weight 4200 grams.
This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 392.
Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $64.00 USD - with no tracking is cheaper. This item is covered by our own insurance policy. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
Extraordinarily Complete Rosewood & Mother of Pearl Lady’s Dressing Case, c1880
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