A wonderful English papier mache jewelry or work box, dating to around the 1840's or 50's, this is a beautiful antique that in its time would have belonged to the mistress of wealthy household, and would have had pride of place on the in the parlor or on a dresser. A nice larger size measuring 4.5" high by 9" wide by 6 1/4" deep, the box is made from highly lacquered black papier mache, inlaid with pretty blocks of abalone, with painted floral garlands and gilt highlights, and a domed lid. The box has an internal tray (which at some point lost its dividers), and is lined with the original black and white lining paper, which is remarkably clean and intact for being over 150 years old. The condition is very good, there is a small and very well done repair to the area under one hinge (I have taken a detailed photo, it is virtually invisible except on very close inspection), the shell inlay and hand painted flowers are in excellent order for the age, showing very minor wear, as is the gilding, is which is still bright. No key. See photos as part of the description.
This is a beautiful box that would be lovely in a period interior, or equally stunning as an accent in a modern environment. Tole and papier mache look particularly good grouped, giving a look that is rich, ornate and antique.