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Embroidered Box

c. 1710
Origin: Great Britain
OH: 5 3/4" x OW:19 1/2" x OD:16"
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground, wood, metal, silk, batting, marbled paper
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1936-204
This is an embroidered box with wooden veneer moldings and Irish (also known as Bargello or flame) stitch on the top and three sides. The box sits on gilded wooden ball feet that are carved with scrolls. The Irish stitch panels consist of silk-white, red, brown, and three different green tones. The back side of the box is covered in the wooden veneer. On the front is a brass keyhole.

The inside of the box is covered in quilted, coral-colored silk. The top of the lid has a frame for a mirror, which is missing. The interior features a series of spaces and boxes on the left side, with a large compartment on the right side. The back features two scalloped, narrow spaces, likely used to store paper. The left side features two padded spaces, two empty spaces for bottles, and a central padded lid that can be lifted to reveal a space lined with marbled paper. It is flanked by two secret compartments, which can be pulled out from underneath from the padded areas that frame the lidded space.

Stitches: Irish
Label:This box, covered in Irish stitch, which look like stylized flames, would have stored its owner’s most precious goods. Opening the box reveals an interior of salmon-colored silk, with a series of compartments and spaces that themselves hide secret containers. The woman or young girl who made this box used it not only to present her finest stitching skills, but also to house her letters, perfumes, combs, gems, and other treasured objects.
Mark(s):None
Inscription(s):None