This is a warm and alluring wooden box made covered in a veneer of rich Calamander wood.
Today, veneers are often used to mask cheap materials but during the 19th century (when this box was made) it was used over real wood to provide a layer of very expensive wood. Interestingly, when plywood was invented around the 1850s, it too, was extremely expensive.
This veneer appeals to have been hand-cut. Before machinery, veneers were cut with only hand held saws and were not as thin as the machine cut veneers of today. This tells us that the box is quite old.
The wood that covers this box is a scintillating shade of deep brown with reddish stripes. Calamander wood (or Coromandel as it is sometimes called) is a very valuable wood that's typically found in India, Sri Lanka, and a few areas in South East Asia. It is closely related to ebony.
The mounts, keyhole cover, and decorative cross-shape on the lid are made of now-patinated brass and held in place by steel rivets. Unfortunately, after these many years the key has gone missing.
As you can see, the box is lined (on top and bottom) with gorgeous burgundy-red velvet while the edges are lined further with fancy silk trim. The underside of the box is lined with green felt to prevent scratching.
There is a small ding on the front of the lid where it has been once repaired and you can see a very tiny area where the veneer has began to peel on the back of the box. Overall, for its age this piece is in fantastic antique condition.
This is a great size and can be used to hold any number of items. We like the fact that it has a design like a chest. The hardware is a great match to the overall design and rich color of the wood.
Measurements: 10" long, 4" wide, 3 ½" tall Weight: 1 lb., 8 oz