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Box and lid

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1667 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved boxwood

  • Museum number:

    M.826:1, 2-1926

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, 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 (made)


ca. 1667 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved boxwood

Marks and inscriptions

'Ioan Bacon her Box: 1667'
Engraved inside lid

'C R'
Carolus Rex
Charles the King
Either side of lion statant guardant crest

Dieu et mon droit
God and my faith
Motto of the royal family of Great Britain - located at

Shamed be he who thinks ill of it
Motto of the Order of the Garter; partially obscured by lion and unicorn supporters.


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]





Subjects depicted

Harps; Unicorns; Coats of arms; Lions


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


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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