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This is an absolutely stunning antique jewellery box, made in Italy and dating to 1870/1880. It is made of solid Olive Wood and has the most beautiful inlaid decoration!
There are decorative bands of inlay on the box, plus 3 beautiful swallows inlaid upon on the lid. The bands are formed from hundreds of tiny pieces of wood, positioned in a mosaic fashion. This particular type of mosaic inlay is known as 'Tessellation'. It is painstakingly created by hand over many, many hours.
The marquetry inlaid swallows are amazing! These are in beautiful flight position, and the swallow on the right is holding a leafy sprig in his beak.
Victorian boxes with birds and other motifs were used to add a symbolic meaning to the item. The same applies to Victorian jewellery and so on. In this instance the swallow represents the safe return home of a loved one.
The interior of the box is completely original. It has a fixed tray with 3 storage compartments, a ring storage section, plus a wonderful drawer below with a larger single compartment.
The compartments are lined with a lightly padded and quilted red satin. The centre compartment has a velvet base, and a circular section which was originally designed to hold a pocket watch. This could now be used to hold a large locket or pendant, and you could also place a beautiful bracelet or bangle around its circumference.
The ring storage section is also lined with velvet, and all of the quilting is beautifully stitched. The drawer has a decorative gold metal handle and it slides in and out with ease. It is beautifully concealed by a drop down panel at the front of the box.
The box is complete with its original brass hinges, all of which are in perfect working order. It is also complete with its original key which locks the box securely.
The box has a superb high quality French lock, details of which are below.
The Olive Wood has a beautiful colour and figuration, and a glossy polished finish to the exterior.
This wonderful box is in excellent condition for its 135/145 years of age.
There is a tiny amount of inlay missing on the back of the box, just to the very bottom of the bands.
There is a small piece of wood missing on the bottom of the drop down panel, next to the band on the right hand side.
These are very minor flaws. They are not overly noticeable, and do not spoil the excellent overall appearance of the box.
All of the interior linings are superb! There are no splits to any of the fabric.
The box is a very sturdy and very robust piece of workmanship. It has plenty of storage space and will hold a fairly large collection of jewellery!
The French Lock
This beautiful box has a typical French lock which was designed to deter thieves from stealing the contents inside!
It was cleverly designed so that its key could be turned TWICE, to lock/unlock the box. The owner would hope that an intruder would be unaware of this secret mechanism, and would then believe the lock to be faulty when it did not open upon one turn! The lock can also however be operated with just one turn if desired.
Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements.
Centre: 10.5 by 7.2cms with a 1.7cm depth.
4cm diameter to the raised circular centre.
Left & Right: 10.5 by 5.8cms with a 2.3cm depth.
Ring Storage: 19.8cm length.
18.7 by 12cms with a 3cm depth.
The box will be posted FREE within the UK by Next Day Special Delivery.
International postage is £25 by Royal Mail International Tracked.
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