Antique Victorian Period
Ladies Work Box
Tonbridgeware l Inlay
A lovely 19th century Victorian ladies dome top sewing or work box. Made in super walnut wood veneer with beautiful geometric Tonbridgeware design inlaid with brass cartouche insets to lid. The lid opens to a well appointed silk lined interior with compartments for needles, cotton etc within a lift out tray to lower compartment. The ruched and gilt edge silk inner lid opens to house a concertina writing paper and blotter section.
The box is in lovely aged antique condition with some light wear marks.
Would make a wonderful gift to the special lady in your life
Dimensions: 10 3/4"(27.3cm) wide by 8"(20cm) deep by 6(15.2cm) tall
Tunbridge Ware, a marquetry technique developed in the Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells area of Kent.
The sewing box or work box was a much loved personal home accessory, where the lady it belonged to kept her embroidery tools and materials. As ladies of a certain social standing did not have many outlets for their artistic creativity, ability to compose and embroider designs on fabric was seen as a major accomplishment.
There are many references in literature to sewing, embroidery tools and boxes. In Jane Austen's Mansfield Park the heroine Fanny Price finds solace in "the room...most dear to her" where " The table between the windows was covered with work-boxes and netting -boxes…" Jane Austen herself had a large Chinese export lacquer box/table on stand complete with fitted tray, which can still be seen in her house in Chawton.
The stylistic development of the work box mirrors that of the tea caddy. The main difference is that Tea Caddies are on the whole taller and narrower. The shapes and decoration however follow the same pattern except that work boxes revert to rectangular shapes after the middle of the 19th century.
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