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  • Place of origin:


  • Date:

    1790-1810 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M. M.Norton

  • 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

Workbox, small, rectangular, with hinged lid. Wooden core decorated with straw marquetry on all sides. Plain paper lined base.

Top decorated with geometric panel straw marquetry, stained green and shades of brown. Sides decorated with contrasting panels of geometric decoration. Back straw marquetry decoration is less finished and resolved.

Hinged lid opens, secured with two teal ribbons.Interior lid decorated with central diamond, surrounded by a green and brown frame all in straw marquetry. The interior is edged with coloured red paper and split into three equal segments comprised of two compartments, with hinged glass lids, which flank a central niche.

The workbox contains a small rolled needlecase, decorated with red and blue cross-stitch in geometric patterns, which match the design of the workbox.

Place of Origin



1790-1810 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

Descriptive line

Workbox, straw marquetry, English, 1790-1810


Straw; Material; Wood


Straw marquetry; Technique


Straw Marquetry


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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