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Antique Box

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Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

I found this box in the attic of my grandmother's house and was wondering if anyone could help me figure out what year it might have been made. I'm assuming the "RW" are initials, however, looking back at our family tree I can't seem to find anyone with those initials; could it be the initials of the maker perhaps? I found it in upstate New York, but didn't know if anything about its shape or materials might suggest it was made elsewhere? Any information would be greatly appreciated! :)

Mystery Solved


  1. too_much_stuff, 5 years ago
    Just some random thoughts.
    First, when you see a W, I see an M.
    I would date this to the late 1800s, possibly to 1910. During the late Victorian age it was popular to decorate the Parlor with items that evoked other era, in this case "Medieval" or possibly Spanish Islamic culture, which used metal studs like these to decorate there furniture.
    I think it was handmade by a talented craftsman / folk artist.
    I would used the term "Keepsake Box" to describe the form, and would assume RM was the recipient of the box. A sentimental person would say, the item may have been made to be given to impress a young lady, though tough to prove exactly.
    I hope this helps a little to better understand the meaning behind the item.
    Good luck.
  2. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    This is a very early letter box or document box from 1810-20's and possibly earlier.The initials were placed for the owner of the box (R.W.) by the maker. Without a label it would be hard to establish Yours is very ornate and a lovely example of this type of brass tack box. The handle is original to the piece. The leather around the trim was to keep the dust out of the box. It is really a cool piece and I get excited when I see one as nice as this. Thanks for posting! The brass tacks on top almost look like an anchor so their may be a nautical theme to it -- which could place it in the area where you found it, (as a guess...).
  3. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    Sorry for the typo -- I was interrupted, should read "hard to establish a maker."
  4. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    One more comment -- the New England states are well known for making these types of boxes.
  5. saracuse, 5 years ago
    Thank you so much @too_much_stuff and @trunkman for your replies! The information you have provided me is great; I will now mark this as mystery solved thanks to your help :)
  6. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
    i agree w/ all the above, except that i see an RW and instead of an anchor, i see a fleur de lyse, which makes me think it might have been made by a french canadian.

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