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This is a beautiful early vintage jewellery box, dating to the 1930s. It was made in Italy for the Maltese tourist market and is a wonderful high quality box. It is complete with its original working lock and key.
This box is made of solid Olive Wood. The lid has beautiful hand painted Swallows and hand painted 'MALTA' script. It also has a frame of beautiful mosaic inlay. This type of mosaic inlay is known as 'Tesselation'. A description of this can be found below.
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.
Mosaic Tesselation Inlay
This type of inlay is skillfully created with hundreds 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.
About Olive Wood
Olive wood 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.
Olive wood 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.
The interior has two swing opening compartments, and a further larger compartment beneath.
The musical movement is cased to the right of the lower compartment.
The compartments have their original thick quilted silk panels, and original silk linings to the walls. The casing of the movement is also covered with the same silk. The silk is a lovely powder blue shade.
The inside of the lid has its original inset mirror. This is oval and has quality beveled edging.
There is a fine inlaid satin wood frame around the mirror, and a further fine painted frame around this.
The box has its original brass hinges, and its original working lock and key. The hinges on the lid are quality 'stop' hinges which prevent the lid from falling back.
Notes About Vintage Locks
We would like to make you aware that vintage locks can suddenly malfunction at any time.
They are already very old and will naturally have some wear from age and use. We are not responsible for locks that malfunction from further age and use, once boxes are purchased.
Please ensure the lock is working as soon as you receive your box.
You can view our full returns policy which includes locks, by visiting our Payments And Returns page.
The Musical Movement
The movement is in good working order and plays the beautiful sentimental tune 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Operating The Musical Movement
The movement is operated via the winding key on the bottom of the box. 5 turns of the key are sufficient to fully wind up the movement. The music stops as it should, when the lid is closed, or when the movement is fully unwound.
Notes On Vintage Musical Movements
As with all musical boxes, care should be taken not to over wind the movement. Over winding will result in the movement malfunctioning. We are not responsible for movements that are over wound or for movements which deteriorate from further age and use, once boxes are purchased.
Please read our returns policy which includes our policy on musical movements.
There is an original song title sticker on the bottom of the box which states the movement plays 'Here Comes The Bride'. It does not. The movement has either been replaced at some point, or the wrong sticker was put onto the box at its time of manufacture.
This wonderful box is in very good condition for its 80 plus years of age. All of the inlay is present and intact and the box is structurally sound. There is some loss of paint to the painted Swallows but this is not unsightly in our opinion. You can view the lid close up on image 3. Other than this the exterior is still lovely with only minor age related surface wear.
The interior satin is free from splits. Being original and very old, they do have some foxing/stains. There is minor fraying to the top edges of the satin linings to the walls. There is a small area of deterioration to the satin covering on the casing. Please view the images showing the interior.
There are a few fine cracks within the beveled edging of the mirror, right at the very edges, top and left hand side. These are not sharp or overly unsightly.
Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements.
Swing Compartments x 2:
10.0cm square with a 3.4cm depth.
16.7 by 10.8cm with a 3.5cm depth.
This box will be posted FREE within the UK, by Next Day Special Delivery.
International postage is by International Tracked & Signed post. Delivery is fast, within 3-5 working days to Europe and 5-7 working days to the rest of the world.
Please contact us for more details.
The Old Jewellery Box Shop
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