Hand Painted Papier Mache Victorian Jewellery Box

( JB430 )
SOLD ~ Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

Beautiful antique papier mache box with a black lacquered finish. Made in England in the late Victorian period, circa 1880/90. Stunning hand painted flowers and a Bee.

Hand Painted Papier Mache Victorian Jewellery Box

Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

This is a beautiful English antique jewellery/trinket box, made of papier-mache. It dates to the late Victorian period, circa 1880/90. It has beautiful hand-painted subjects which were very symbolic during the Victorian era. Information on this is given below.

The Exterior

The exterior has a glossy black lacquered 'Japanned' finish. The lid has stunning hand-painted Poppies and Daisies, and also a beautiful Bee in flight. These organic subjects are simply beautiful and this design is rare.

This is one of two matching box's, the other having a different shape. Please see below for the other box.

The Interior

The inside of the box has an unlined glossy red lacquered 'Japanned' finish.


This box started life as an expensive glove box for a Victorian lady's dressing table. It now makes for a more functional trinket or jewellery box.

The Victorian Symbolism

The Bee (known for its busy and productive nature) symbolised the work ethics and moral fibre of a person.

The Daisies symbolized purity and innocence.

The Red Poppies were symbolic of imagination, pleasure and eternal sleep.

English Victorian 'Japanning'

'Japanning' (the name given for making objects look like examples of Japanese lacquer work) was very popular during the Victorian period. The Victorians loved the look of Japanese lacquered items, but it was not their intention to produce replicas of these. Instead, they used a very similar style of lacquer and decorated their items with more 'English' looking subjects.

Japanese lacquer was made from native trees but this often cracked in the cold British climate. The Victorians, therefore, used tar and pitch with papier mache, to create a very similar, smooth black surface.


This beautiful box is in lovely condition for its 125 plus years of age. It has sound structure and no cracks.

There is no loss to the painted decoration and the colours are still beautifully vivid.

There are a few small dull patches to the black lacquer but the majority of it is still lovely and glossy.

There is a teeny nibble to the bottom-right edge of the lid which is barely noticeable.


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

Length:  30.6cm
Width:     9.5cm
Height:    4.2cm

Interior compartment:

29.4 by 8.0cm square with a 3.4cm depth.


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

International postage is £25 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.

You may also like this matching papier mache box which has the same rare pattern but a different shape. Please see the suggested item below.

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