Early 20th C Inlaid Jewellery Box From Sorrento

( JB749 )



Beautiful Italian jewellery box from the early 20th century. Decorative mosaic inlay and hand-painted Swallows. Original interior linings and mirror. Made in Sorrento.

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Early 20th C Inlaid Jewellery Box From Sorrento

  FREE UK NEXT DAY DELIVERY. We Ship Worldwide. 

This is a wonderful high-quality jewellery box. It was made in Sorrento, in Southern Italy and it dates to the early 20th century. It has decorative inlay and hand-painted detail, and the interior has its original linings.

The Exterior

This box is made of solid Olivewood, further details of which are given below. The Olivewood has a lovely rich colour and beautiful figuration.

The box is in the form of books. There are two books horizontally placed at the top and bottom, and a row of upright volumes in between. These are all numbered with hand-painted Roman Numerals (I to XI).

The lid has beautiful hand-painted Swallows. These are surrounded by a beautifully inlaid tesselated micro mosaic frame. Details of this type of inlay can be found below. The Swallows are symbolic of the safe journey home of a loved one.

The box is complete with its original hinges and has a secret lock which is located behind the centre volume (volume VI). To access the lock you simply slide the base of the box backwards, after which the 'spine' of volume VI drops down revealing the keyhole. Please note however that the lock is temperamental, and therefore has no key.

The Micro Mosaic Tesselated Inlay

This type of inlay is skillfully created with thousands of tiny pieces of wood. It is painstakingly put together over many, many hours, to form a beautiful mosaic pattern. Several varieties of wood are used to add colour and dimension to the mosaic. Stain is sometimes added to the wood, also to add colour.

About Olivewood

Olivewood has a distinctive grain and rich colour which gives it a beautiful appearance. It has characteristic brown and yellow streaks which make for a beautiful contrast. These features make it a sought after wood for decorative items such as jewellery boxes.

Olivewood is also favoured for its hardness. It is a strong durable wood with a fairly high density and it takes well to cutting and polishing.

The Olive tree primarily grows in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. Its wood has been used for many years by Italian box makers in particular. It is also a favoured wood in areas of the Holy Lands such as Jerusalem.

The Interior

The interior has a single storage compartment which is fairly deep and roomy.

The walls of the compartment have their original silk linings and its base has its original quilted silk panel. The silk is a beautiful powder blue colour.

The inside of the lid has its original fitted mirror and wooden frame.


Circa 1920s/1930s.


This wonderful box is in very good condition. It has sound structure and all of its inlay is still present and secure.

The interior linings are still neatly fitted. Being original they do have some old stains, though the quilted base panel is predominantly clean.

The hinges are still in good working order.

The mirror has aged but has no chips or cracks.


Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements.

Length:   24.3cm
Width:     12.5cm
Height:    11.1cm

Interior Compartment:

22.0 by 9.7cm with a 5.5cm depth.


This box will be posted FREE within the UK by Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery.

International postage is £30 by Royal Mail International Tracked and/or Signed For postage. Delivery is fast, within 3-5 working days to Europe and 5-7 working days to the rest of the world. Delivery may be longer depending on the speed of your local postal service and/or if your parcel has to go through customs. Please note that we cannot deliver to international PO boxes as we use a secure insured postal service that requires a signature.

Customs and VAT fees

International customers are responsible for paying any applicable customs duties, customs clearance/handling fees and/or VAT. These fees are NOT included in the prices of our boxes or our postage fees.

Please visit our Orders & Delivery page for further details.

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