From my own longtime collection, I've had this one for decades. Rare in this large size, these type of late Victorian to Edwardian era (19th century) fine tortoise shell boxes were Dutch made. I have a complete box, another one this size, and it is not fitted inside (see final photo). This elegant old beauty is missing its lid but still is elegant for table or buffet, tea time. The interior's original lining has been fitted for a beautiful French sterling silver vermeil tea service of spoons and a sugar shell. These splendid old Dutch boxes are made with steam-shaped convex lids (this one missing) that are the shell alone and not a veneer. The coloration of the box ranges cognac to chocolate, nicely mottled - my favorite kind. Brilliant at table, they would compliment the most elegant tea service. The lip edging of the service tray/ box bottom is ivory veneer and the carved bun feet are darker and of vegetable ivory, I think. The bottom and sides of the box are a lightweight wood with tortoise shell veneer. Full measurements are noted on the photos. Vermeil spoons number full service of 12 plus the sugar shell, all in fitted silk velvet with white piping.
Very good to excellent condition on all sides and top, but missing its lid. There are no cracks nor chips or breaks in all of that stunning old tortoise shell. Ivory lip remains intact. As noted above, the lid of the large box has been lost, probably broken as they were steam-formed convex panels of tortoise shell without a wooden form base and rather fragile. Still, it displays elegantly. I love the sleek form on these, and can certainly see them in a modern decor as well as among antiques. Versatile!
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.