British Sewing and Writing Box, Chest, dating 1860s. Unknown maker, the silversmith for implements/thimble is not accurately identifiable by my reference material. If you find it, we'll at least know who made the thimble.
This is an exceptionally rare find! Late Georgian to early Victorian Compendium, a combination sewing and writing chest, box, cabinet, coffret. The exterior is a work of art one seldom sees even in museum. The exquisitely worked marquetry in the manner of the French boulle work, but with inlays of engraved and cut mother of pearl patterning the entire exterior against that opulent cognac and chocolate of the natural tortoise shell veneer. Edge-trimmed in ivory, it must have taken numerous artisans a year to complete. The lower drawer pulls out to reveal itself as a writer's slop with inkwells and storage for correspondence, stationery, etc., and the upper compartment is a complete sewing set. Rare enough to find the chest, but rarer still to find it complete and in such incredible condition. Certainly a piece for the V&A's collection in London. This is from my private collection, one of the finest we've ever owned. I don't expect it will last long.
Very good to excellent condition, with the sewing tools and inkwells, the original working key, and the least loss or damage I've ever seen on one of these incredible works of art. Circa 1866, the work would be impossible to duplicate. No restorations, one very tiny nitch to bottom back panel, shell, so small you're not going to even notice it but it bears mention. The mother of pearl, every bit worked by hand, is all there. Not a single bit missing. I can't say enough about this world class chest. Interior is as nice as the exterior. The writer's drawer wants to slide snug, perhaps owing to our humidity changes. Very slight sign of age in narrow separation at back corners, again, owing only to slight shrinkage of the natural materials over 2 centuries. Sewing tools and knife are in English silver, and there are extra pieces such as the several tatting shuttles in compartment. The box is large at a full 12+" x 9" front to back, and 6 1/2" all when closed. Weighs just over 7 pounds for shipment. Shipment restrictions apply as noted below.
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. We do hold a valid USFWS license, as well, for import/export, but additional time is required for export, and we are not exporting at this time.