This elegant pique box is an absolute jewel; embodying all of the fine craftsmanship and superior design England had to offer in the early 20th century.
It is difficult to photograph the beauty of this box.
The entire body (save the tortoise shell top) is made from sterling silver; an extraordinary swag-motif in sparkling silver has been inlaid into dazzling tortoise-shell.
Every one of the shell's shades of amber, brown, umber, orange, and even gold sparkle at every angle, dancing vividly in the light.
A beautifully flowered edge frames the tortoise shell while a demure hinge at the reverse and small tab on the front of the lid allow it to open and close easily.
We love the intricate detailing around the rim of the top. It makes a great frame to the beautiful design and is great contrast against the smooth tortoise shell.
The body of the box and the rim of the lid are smooth, so as not to detract from the textural appeal of the tortoise shell.
A number of traditional maker's marks can be seen on the reverse near the hinge; the first of these, "W.C", indicates that the piece was manufactured by William Comyns & Sons.
Said to have been founded as early as 1730, they are one of the few surviving manufacturing silversmiths in London with premises on Tower Street.
The next mark is the "lion passant", denoting the box's British origin and sterling, The date mark corresponds to 1905.
There are some very minor surface scratches and some expected patina (to the interior) but, overall, this beautiful elegant box is in extraordinary antique condition.
Measurements: 3 5/8" long, 2 5/8" wide, 1 3/16" tall Weight: 74.1 grams (2.61 oz)