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Box and lid

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1667 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved boxwood

  • Museum number:

    M.826:1, 2-1926

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 54b, case 14

Object Type
This box may have contained a miniature portrait or possibly even snuff. Nothing is known of its owner, Joan Bacon, except that she supported the monarchy.

The box bears the coat of arms of Charles II, who reigned from 1660 to 1685.

Materials & Making
Boxwood is a close-grained hardwood particularly suited to small and intricate carving. Its colour ranges from yellow to orange-brown and when polished it develops a shiny surface. Box was then grown in south-east England and John Evelyn, in Silva: or A Discourse on Forest-Trees (1662), said it was 'of special use for the turner, engraver, carver who give great prices for it by weight, as well as measure'.

Physical description

Oval box and lid of boxwood, carved with the initials 'C R' and the royal arms of Great Britain and Ireland. It is engraved inside the lid with 'Ioan Bacon her Box: 1667. The bottom is engraved with a heraldic rose with stem and leaves.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)


ca. 1667 (made)


unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Carved boxwood

Marks and inscriptions

'Ioan Bacon her Box: 1667'
'C R' Charles the King
'DIEV ET MON DROIT' God and my faith
'HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE' Shamed be he who thinks ill of it


Height: 10.8 cm, Width: 7.9 cm, Depth: 2.4 cm

Object history note

RP: 26/9757

Croft Lyons Bequest

Historical context note

This box may have contained a miniature portrait or possibly even snuff.

Descriptive line

BOX carved with the Royal Arms; England; ca. 1667

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The maker of this box carved Charles II's Royal Arms on its lid. Royal coats of arms decorated everything from jewellery to ceilings throughout this period. People like Joan Bacon, who owned the box in 1667, might have acquired such items to display her loyalty to the King. [27/03/2003]

Associated names

Charles II





Subjects depicted

Coats of arms; Lions; Unicorns; Harps


Containers; Woodwork; Royalty; Heraldry; British Galleries; Medieval and renaissance

Collection code


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