This is a charming French child's or possibly toy, sewing box, labelled 'Mercerie'. The box is paper-covered in a paisley design and original brass hardware and gilded accent. The inside of the box is painted pink and the inside of the lid has multiple loops for holding needlework tools. These include various wound threads, stiletto, two crochet hooks and bodkin in bone, and a small thimble. As well in the lid is a section of a needlework frame – the remaining components of this are in the lower drawer of the box. The main box has several patterns for embroidery and one for gros point (Berlin work). Other compartments have aged cardboard covers with no contents. At the front of this box are some more threads and three little circular boxes for multi-coloured beads. The drawer at the bottom contains more spaces for patterns and two cardboard covers for the base and struts of the embroidery frame. Again, some of the spaces appear to just have the cardboard covers. Two of these in the box of green have remnants of pink ribbon but the cardboard itself does not appear to be removable. The condition of the box itself is very good for age. The holding loops in the lid are very loose but are still present and there is some age staining of the paper components. Despite this, this is quite a special and unusual box to be a survivor as the components would not have survived major use. The concept of this box is rather similar to the delightful tea and coffee services that one sometimes sees for children. Width 12.25 ins (31.7cm) x depth 8.5 ins (21.5cm). Weight 1246 grams. This item appears in my book, "Antique Boxes, Inside and Out" on page 332.
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