This is a typical English leather-covered Georgian sewing box, c1800. These boxes have a characteristic shape, stand on prominent claw or ball feet and have ring side-carrying handles with a lion’s head. They are fitted internally for needlework tools and can have a ruched silk lining to the lid for a drop-down ‘secret’ compartment or a decorative silk internal panel. Classic needlework tools of this era tended to be of ivory, which are no longer available in some countries. Bone or steel tools could be an alternative. This particular box is of red leather with claw feet and ring side carrying handles. It is unusual in that it has an additional drawer with ring-pull opening lined with attractive silver paper. The inside of the box has a beautiful cream ruched interior to the lid which drops down to reveal a silver paper-lined interior with small paper pouch and space for patterns or secret billet-doux! This closes fairly securely. The actual sewing section has red leather covers to two compartments. At the top of the front compartment are spaces for long slender needlework tools and scissors – the one at the back opens to reveal an unusual feature of eight silver paper-lined compartments which may have been for thread holders. There are spaces on each side for squat needlework tools and in one is an original waxer with its original gilt packaging. The other one could well have been for a tape measure. There are spaces for a thimble and another most likely for a finger guard with a central lift-up well between for further tools. Two larger areas which are uncovered are available for storage. At the front on each side are cream silk squares – one is a pin cushion and the other is the cover for a lift-out needle book. The complete large tray does not lift up as in some other examples and this space is conveniently replaced with the previously mentioned large storage drawer. The overall condition of this box is very good for age with some signs of slight wear from use and love. This particular sewing/needlework box is an ideal example for the avid collector as there are so many 'hidey-holes' and spaces for storing items in a secure and attractive manner. Such as box is an essential item for any serious collection of these most attractive and appealing needlework boxes. Length 8.75 ins (21.5cm), width 12 ins (30.5cm), depth 6.5 ins (16.5cm). Weight 2010 grams. This item can be seen in the book, "Antique Boxes - Inside and Out", on page 311.
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