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  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1927-1939 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Compression-moulded urea formaldehyde

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Cylindrical box with separate lid. The box is made from mottled red, green, yellow and orange urea formaldehyde, the lid is solid red. It stands on three small moulded feet. The lid is decorated with three concentric ridges around the rim.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1927-1939 (manufactured)



Materials and Techniques

Compression-moulded urea formaldehyde


Diameter: 10.5 cm, Height: 9 cm

Object history note

Fred Bulmer, a collector based in Leeds, Yorkshire, offered his collection of ‘plastic antiques’ to the V&A in late 1982. The Museum chose to purchase 59 objects from Bulmer the following year (for acquisition papers see MA/1/B3395). The objects were divided among the Museum’s collections according to object type: Furniture and Woodwork taking 26 objects (W.50 to 75-1983), Metalwork 18 objects (M.49 to 66-1984) and Ceramics and Glass 14 objects (C.41 to 54-1984).

Historical context note

See Sylvia Katz, Classic Plastic (London, 1984) for a similar object, described as a 'games box'. Fred Bulmer stated in his notes that he thought this object could have been a free gift given away with Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles. It could also have been used for sewing items.

Descriptive line

Cylindrical box with lid; mottled multicoloured Bakelite; probably made in England, late-1920s/early 1930s


Urea formaldehyde


Compression moulding


Plastic; Containers

Production Type

Mass produced


Ceramics Collection

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