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Workbox

Workbox

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly)
    France (possibly)

  • Date:

    1780-1820 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Percy Long, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    W.60:1-1950

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Straw marquetry was known as early as the 17th century, but it was most popular in the period 1780–1830 in France and Britain. The straw was split and flattened, then glued into place on thin paper on which the design had been drawn. This was then glued to a wooden carcase, which was usually covered first with a thicker paper. The maker could divide the straw into two, four or more strips, depending on the fineness needed for the design. Colour could be added to the surface with various varnishes, which also enhanced the glossy appearance of the marquetry. Straw marquetry was most suitable for small objects such as tea chests or work boxes but occasionally larger pieces of furniture were decorated in this way. Because straw work is very fragile, it is rare for pieces to survive in good condition.

Physical description

Workbox, decorated with straw marquetry.

Construction
Rectangular box with hinged lid, opening to reveal three lidded compartments. The front is divided into four drawers with turned ivory handles. The top two drawers are dummy drawers.

Decoration
The box is decorated all over with straw marquetry. The exterior with a basket of flowers within an oval panel enclosed within borders of varying design. The interior lid is decorated with the view of a city across a stream, on the side of which is a castle and a church. The three compartments are decorated with straw work and the central compartment houses a mirror on the interior lid. The drawers are also lined with straw work.

Place of Origin

England (possibly)
France (possibly)

Date

1780-1820 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

Descriptive line

workbox, veneered in straw marquetry, possibly English or French, 1780-1820

Materials

Straw; Wood; Material

Techniques

Straw marquetry; Technique

Categories

Straw Marquetry

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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