1920s Inlaid Jewellery Box With Secret Opening

( JB217 )
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Beautiful 1920s jewellery box with symbolic hand-painted Swallows and a secret opening!

1920s Inlaid Jewellery Box With Secret Opening

This is a beautiful old jewellery box dating to the 1920s. It was made in Italy and has a lovely secret opening as detailed below.

The Exterior

The box is made of solid Olivewood. This has beautiful figuration and a rich warm colour. There is a description about Olivewood further down.

The lid has two beautiful hand-painted swallows, surrounded by a decorative inlaid frame. This very pretty inlaid frame is made up of various hardwoods. It is beautifully set flush within the Olivewood.

The top of the box is in the form of a book and its front is in the form of a row of book spines. These are numbered 1-9 in hand-painted Roman numerals. This row of book spines is the secret opening of the box and you slide it to the left to release the lid.

The box is complete with its original brass stop hinges which prevent the lid from falling back.


The lid will release if you lift it up manually, without sliding the book spines across. We do not however recommend this, as doing so could damage the catch within the spines.

Swallow Symbolism

The swallows on this box were most likely added as a form of symbolism. The swallow represents the safe journey home of a loved one.

The Interior

The interior has a single small compartment.

The Base

A new felt covering has been added to the base to protect the surfaces of your furniture.


This wonderful box is in excellent condition for its 95 plus years of age. All of the inlay is present and intact and the box is structurally sound. 

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 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.


Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements. It is a charming little box for a small collection of jewellery.

Length:  15.0cm
Width:   11.1cm
Height:    4.6cm

Interior Compartment:

12.6 by 7.0cm with a 3.3cm depth.


The box will be posted FREE within the UK by Next Day Special Delivery.

International postage is £25 by International Tracked Post. Delivery is fast and within 3-5 working days to Europe, and 5-7 working days to the rest of the world.

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