|I never found one in as good shape as this|
Now I want your help in identifying an object that has come my way. It was found by an enthusiast with a metal detector. I don't know where, and I don't know when.
I'ts a little container. I've photographed it alongside a 3-pin plug, to give you an idea of its size.
It's not very deep.
It's heavier than it looks (6oz/150gms) and not magnetic. Its weight, and shiny bits on the bottom and the underside of the lid, suggest it might be made of lead, but the greenish patina makes me wonder whether it could be a lead-copper alloy.
|The underside of the lid (above), and the bottom of the box (below)|
I have made no attempt to clean the box up, because I like its tarnished look - but even so, you can see that some of the decoration on it is quite fine.
Although heavily marked by age, the box seems to be very well-made. The lid fits perfectly onto the base whichever wayy you turn it. The metal on the lid is cut out to make a pattern of leaves and roses, with a large central flower.
I wonder whether the openwork lid indicates that the box was intended to store something fragrant.
The floral design is repeated almost exactly on the inside of the base. The differences in that image are sufficient to suggest that it was not stamped or cut by the same machine, or cast in the same mould as the lid. Might the decoration be hand worked?
This interior detail would, of course, be seen only by the owner of the box, which implies that it might have been something special, intimate, and not just for show.
There are more roses and leaves around the edge of the base.
Have any of you seen something like this before? Do you have any idea how old it might be?
I keep earrings in it. What do you think the original owner used it for?
I love this little box. But is it ancient, a little bit old, or is it something I could have bought in a poundshop last week?
I bet one of you History Girls will know.