An extraordinarily complete straw-work box, c1800. All surfaces of the box are covered with coloured straw to make scenes and geometric designs. These boxes are called ‘Prisoner-of-War’ boxes, as it is believed they were made by the Napoleonic prisoners of war. It is described that the prisoners used straw and other available materials and sold these to help their situation. Some were commercial work, probably by the same artisans. The outsides are often faded but the insides are bright and fresh. This is a lovely example of a general purpose box (possibly for needlework or jewellery). The images include a riverside dwelling with a person fishing, farms with houses and inside the lid, a larger house with trees. On the top of the inside lids are symbolic images of quiver, anchor, axe etc. These lids on their inner aspect have four-pointed stars. On the base is the original paper with writing with the only readable word being ‘Solaire’. The hinges appear to be of wire that passed through coiled wire. There are scattered areas of loss of the straw-work, the most obvious being seen on the top right lid towards the back (as can be seen in the image). The right-hand lid has a flimsy attachment on one side only. The interior lids fit very snugly. Width approximately 10.63 ins (27cm); height approximately 4.13 ins (10.5cm); depth approximately 6.9 ins (17.5cm). Weight 1122 grams. This item can be seen in the book, "Antique Boxes - Inside and Out", on page 308.
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