Outstanding inlaid sewing box with fitted removable tray, American, circa 1860. The front and sides have an elaborate matching pattern with three rows of connected diamond shapes made from baleen, mother of pearl and abalone shell. The centers of the diamonds have small inlays of various shapes and of the same materials as the diamonds. The back of the box is also inlaid with baleen borders with an inlaid abalone shell flower design at the center. The front and sides of the lid have rectangular inlaid panels with thin inlaid borders of baleen and ivory. Within the panels is a baleen inlaid "eye" shaped pattern with mother of pearl and abalone disK inlays at the center of each "eye." The top of the box has a wavy border of thin baleen and ivory with a small inlaid abalone leaves creating a border that appears like a vine. The center of the lid has an ivory and baleen inlaid diamond with elaborate inlaid patterns within. At each corner of the lid inside the border are inlaid flower designs made with inlaid baleen, ivory and abalone shell and flaked on each side with small abalone rectangular inlays. The lid hinges back exposing a mahogany lift-out tray with five compartments each having a lid. The lids retain the original ivory pulls and diamond inlay. Each corner of the top of the box and the opposing bottom of the lid have inlaid tortoise shell corners. The box sits on its four original curved shaved whale ivory feet. (SC-1063)
Condition: The box has some minor typical shrinkage and there are a few minor baleen inlay worm damage. The box is in generally excellent condition and has a mellow age patina.
Dimensions: Height 5 1/2, Width 10 1/2, Depth 7 3/8 inches.