Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Walk Like an Egyptian - Art Nouveau Jewelry Casket

At some point, my antique and vintage jewelry collecting branched into other areas of collecting. Antique jewelry caskets being one of them. Today we call them jewelry boxes or trinket boxes. All though I only have a few left in my collection, I still long for more of them. This has been one of my favorites! It is an Art Nouveau Egyptian Revival box made by the Benedict MFG. Co. out of East Syracuse, NY. They were in business from 1894 to 1953. This box dates to around 1900.

While this piece features Egyptian symbolism, it also borrows some of it's design elements from the Arts and Crafts Movement as well as the Victorian era.

Here we have the back and side of the box. Egyptian winged scarabs or beetles and lotus blossoms are flanked by tendrils of ivy leaves. The ivy leaves being very Victorian.

This photo shows the side and front. Notice the very dark patina. (and the hole in the side.) Maybe someone used it to burn incense. That will remain an unsolved mystery! Anyway...the box is a dark grayish black. It looks a little darker in my photos. The box is made from a very heavy metal, with only the slightest trace of silver remaining. I think originally it was made to look as though it were just unearthed from an ancient Egyptian tomb.

The inside would have held a beautiful padded silk lining. This is all that remains inside of the box now. I have chosen to leave it as I found it. (The inside does look like it has been buried!)

Look at the little scarabs! Once again...the ivy leaves.

Here you can see the details on the side. A winged scarab. Again, it looks much darker in my photos, but you can see the traces of silver here. The overall shape of the box looks very Arts and Crafts movement to me. This antique jewelry casket is a great example of overlapping eras of design. Very unique.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing this!

Happy Collecting!

For more antique and vintage jewelry and treasures, stop by my shop.

Wicked Darling

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