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Jugendstil / Art Nouveau Box, Probably Biscuit Tin, Early 20th Cent.

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (100 items)

    I recently bought this somewhat battered box because I could not resist the intricate art nouveau / Jugendstil ornamentation! I bought it from an elderly lady who had it from her in-laws, so it definitely has some age to it. I am mystified both as to where it was made and what it was made for (click to enlarge pictues).

    It is relatively big (33.5 x 22.5 x 17 cm / 13.2 x 8.9 x 6.7 in); thus too big for jewelry, but too small for e.g. hats or dresses. It used to have a key (now lost) along with chains to hold the lid (one of which remains). I very much doubt that it is Danish or even Scandinavian – as cogito pointed out in the ‘Viking Style Table’ post ( (comment)), this style didn’t really catch on here (or was quickly translated into something else). It is decorated with intricate decorative patterns. On the lid a conveniently draped angel with a torch appears to be standing on a globe, flanked by shooting stars.

    So what do you say, fellow collectors – any suggestions?

    Pictures l-r: 1) front, 2) lid, 3) back, 4) with opened lid

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      hi jensen , could it be also some sweets bow or for cakes, in france they produced many boxes like this for chocolate, sweets, and cakes, biscuits etc... if it was for jewlery it have to be some "capitoné" fabric inside the box...
    2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      its very very beautiful Jensen!!! I could not resist loving this!!
    3. jensen jensen, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Sean! And paris1925 - yes, I guess that's a possibility, but then I wonder why the box has a lock...?
    4. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      Your very welcome Jensen!! I don't think this was for chocolates. may be letters!! or postcards!!
    5. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      jensen , the boxes were made very decorative to be also and "advertisment item" they created some models to be used after the original "use" as monney box or treasures for the customers childs... it was the fashion or the 1900's....

      make some collectables to get more clients, and addicted to te brand.... the beginning of marketting-)

      attractive design, reusable fuction.... seducting parents.... and childs...

      you can see some other samples here :
    6. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      just additional info: the figure could be inspired by " Le Génie de la Liberté " an allegoric sculpture of "liberty" sculpted by french sculptot Auguste Dumont in 1836.

      as i can see the tin is lithografied, so you have for sure the signature of manufacturer somewhere, look on the internal face of cover in the angles who closed the box or in the part who help to open it.... usually very small writing...
    7. jensen jensen, 7 years ago
      Thanks, paris1925 - you may very well be right!
    8. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      you can also look on the "lock" if some maker mark is here-)
      i'm glad to help you.

    9. jensen jensen, 7 years ago
      Yes, I've looked very closely, but so far I haven't found any marks, unfortunately.
    10. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      hmm i do think the the figural design could hel to find the maker-)
      need to find a tin box collectors club or somthing like that and for sure you will find it in it-)
    11. cogito cogito, 7 years ago
      I believe that Paris1925 is correct. This was most likely some sort of advertisement or product presentation piece. I wouldn't be terribly surprised to learn that the motif with the torch bearing angel above the world was a company logo. I think this design on the top is your best clue.
    12. jensen jensen, 7 years ago
      I surrender - I do think it must be a tin of some sort, although I am still intrigued by the lock (but I guess if you have some particularly delicious marrons glacés you would want to lock them up!). I have looked everywhere on the tin, but not found any names or signatures, but I agree that the figure must be clue (and thanks for the reference to Dumont's statue, paris1925!). Thanks for the comments and loves, everyone!
    13. paris1925 paris1925, 7 years ago
      hi jensen, i was searching on internet if get any chance to find a twin to your box... no way.... but for sur i will find it..... every thinks who where mass production will apear one day... enjoy your marrons glacés-) hé hé-)
    14. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      Very beautiful!

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