This is a vintage Narcissa Thorne Ward diorama shadow box, highly detailed. Thorne was a Chicago artist, socialite, and wife of the vice president of Montgomery Ward. She was known for her exquisitely detailed and scaled precise miniature dioramas that replicated actual rooms. Her work is known for the architecture and design, mostly the dioramas were of scenes in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Several museums have examples of her work, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Phoenix Art Museum, Knoxville Museum, Indianapolis Children's Museum, and the Kay Miniature Museum in Los Angeles.
This piece is a depiction of an English castle complete with miniature figures of the period. The box contains some ephemera related to Thorne Ward: a list from a Chicago exhibit of her work, a biography, and a copy of her obituary from The Chicago Daily News in 1963. The box is 6 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 2 1/4." There are some loose pieces to the sky portion of the diorama, and some rumpling of the gilt paper foil border on the box. SC.