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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1687 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    paper, gilding, silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description


English – dated 1687

Wood, the top and the sides of yellow silk decorated with designs in cut-paper work, painted and gilded, of stylised floral forms; on the top in the middle a panel filled with shells and a paper bird, surmounted by a bird in cut paper and flanked by the initials MW (for Mary Wright) and the date 1687. Lined in mauve silk, and partitions; inside the lid a looking-glass.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1687 (made)

Materials and Techniques

paper, gilding, silk

Marks and inscriptions

Initials MW and date 1687

Object history note

Shell box, bequeathed by Col. Thomas Johnson Seppings (on the request of his sister) in April 1925

Notes from R.P. 25/3297

Seppings Will
describes "the work box with filigree work of shells & cardboard dated 1687 on the lid…."

Letter from Seppings' executor
the box "is in very good condition and of beautiful design and work…the box was shown at an Art Loan Exhibition at Kings Lynn some years ago and attracted the attention of Her Majesty the Queen who carefully examined it".

Receipt of box from Col. Seppings home, The Grange, Wormegay, Kings Lynn
condition described as "worm-eaten … parts loose…containing a collection of shells, letter, fossils, spinning top, two wooden hammers, small ivory box & small alabaster bowl & two keys".

Minute note, H Clifford Smith
"this box or dressing case is an interesting example (of) decoration by means of curled or rolled paper. It is dated 1687 and bears the initials MW - for Mary Wright - from whom it descended to the late owner". Smith states that the museum has a coat-of-arms of Queen Anne, and a George III tea caddy with similar decoration. "This box will be an important addition to the collections".

Descriptive line

Work box; England; 1687 (?)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Dictionary of English Furniture (Country Life 1924-7, 2nd rev. ed. 1954, 3 vols. See entry for Boxes (vol. I), p.109
Noël Riley, The Accomplished Lady. A History of Genteel Pursuits c. 1660-1860. Leeds: Oblong, 2017, illustrated p. 240






Containers; Woodwork; Medieval and renaissance


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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