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Antique Penwork box Circa 1820.

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Reference: JB552

Description:
JB552:  Penwork box with tapering sides and pyramided top, the sides depicting floral themes, the top a scene from oriental life with figures in a garden, and fantastical insects. The inside is compartmentalized to hold playing cards and counters. The arrangement makes it ideal also as a jewelry or trinket box. The box stands on ball feet.  circa 1820. 

Origin: UK  Circa: 1820.  Materials: sycamore decorated with penwork.

Size: cm wide by cm by cm:  inches wide by  inches by  inches.

Condition: see pictures: Good overall with working lock and key 

 

JB552: Penwork box with tapering sides and pyramided top, the sides depicting floral themes, the top a scene from oriental life with figures in a garden, and fantastical insects. The inside is compartmentalized to hold playing cards and counters. The arrangement makes it ideal also as a jewelry or trinket box. The box stands on ball feet.  circa 1820.  Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

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JB552: Penwork box with tapering sides and pyramided top, the sides depicting floral themes, the top a scene from oriental life with figures in a garden, and fantastical insects. The inside is compartmentalized to hold playing cards and counters. The arrangement makes it ideal also as a jewelry or trinket box. The box stands on ball feet.  circa 1820.  Enlarge Picture
 

The pyramided shape is inspired by the images  and knowledge which were currently coming from Egypt

From the second part of the 18th to the middle of the 19th century the English applied arts came under influences both from the Far East and the classical world of Europe and the Middle East. Such a wealth of new intellectual, aesthetic and social ideas burst onto English society that the possibilities of diversification in the arts became infinite. It was the time of the great romantic poets, expounding new ideas, of creative novelists, of travelers and merchants bringing back tales of other lands.

See: http://hygra.com/material.htm#pen 

 

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The techniques used for this decoration are not always consistent. The boxes were made in sycamore  as here or other light coloured woods. 

The images on this box are interpretations of oriental life: Chinoiserie.

Detail: a scene from oriental life with figures in a garden, and fantastical insects. 

 

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The inside is compartmentalized to hold playing cards and counters. The arrangement makes it ideal also as a jewelry or trinket box.

The box is lined with its original pink paper.

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Interestingly, the the main painting on the top is the right way up when seen from the back with the box open.

These Chinoiserie scenes were inspired by tales of the gardens of the Hong merchants which British traders and diplomats were allowed to visit whilst in Canton. Such scenes found their way into prints and books as well as diaries and letters of the period, all  are executed with fluent disregard for the restrictions of perspective.

 

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2010 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com
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