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  • Date:

    1790-1810 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Major Pollard

  • Museum number:


  • 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

Box, veneered with straw marquetry. It has a hinged lid beneath which are two futher hinged lids, each covering twin compartments. On the front, four drawer fronts, the top two false, the lower pair forming the face of a single long drawer. Ivory ball feet, and knob handles.

On the top, an oval basket of flowers, amid scrollwork, similar scrolls on the drawer fronts, back and sides. Inside the lid is a landscape with a ruined tower and a farmyard by a rive. The inner lids bear trophies of doves, musical instruments, etc. and on their undersides bunches of flowers inside diamond shaped frames. The inside of the drawer has a naval trophy consisting of a cannonl, anchor and Red Ensign, with the correct form of the Union Jack without the St.Andrews cross.


1790-1810 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, veneered in straw marquetry


Width: 29.5 cm, Depth: 20 cm, Height: 13 cm

Object history note

The register notes that the imagery 'clearly indicates that the box is English, although it may possibly have been executed by a French prisoner-of-war. If so, it is of above average quality for such work.' 1969.

Descriptive line

Box, veneered with straw marquetry, on ivory ball feet, English, c.1800


Straw; Wood; Ivory; Material


Straw marquetry; Technique


Straw Marquetry


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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