Friday 27 May 2011

Not Just a Pretty Box

And Lot 453 is a very pretty box indeed, isn't it? And it gets better. Can you resist taking a peek inside?
Now aren't you pleased you let your curiosity get the better of you? So what is this all about?

This is a rare French musical Sewing Necessaire Automaton of around 1890. It has a key-wind two-air cylinder movement driving windmill sails and a rocking ship on stormy sea, in silk-covered case with ormolu mounts, with deep-purple buttoned satin interior lining, mirror in lid and fitted section for gilt scissors, thimble, stiletto, sewing needle and one missing tool. It measures just 7.75in. (19.5 cm) wide x 5.25in. (13.5 cm) high (the exterior has been restored with antique silk, interior lining and ormolu mounts are original). Musical sewing necessaries are only occasionally found with mechanical scenes fitted into their lids, and this form is particularly unusual.
On the underside is a paper label with pen inscription: This Musical Box was purchased at the Sale of the Duchess of York by Ld. (Lord) Chesterfield. It was the Gift of Rackes who wrote a journal and other friends of the Duchess. If correct, the inscription presumably refers to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (1867-1953) who held the titles Duchess of York from 1893 to 1901, Princess of Wales from 1901 to 1910, and queen consort to her husband, George V of England, from 1910 to 1936. Enid Edith Scudamore-Stanhope, Lady Chesterfield, lived at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire from 1917 to 1957. Following her death, the contents of the house were sold at auction by Curtis & Henson in June 1958.
Accompanying the lot is a photographic magic lantern slide showing a royal gathering at Windsor in 1907. The Princess of Wales can be seen in fifth place from the left.
This amazing necessaire is for auction on 28 May 2011 at Auction Team Breker of Köln, Germany. Email: or Telephone: +49 (0) 2236 38 43 40
to register your (absentee) bid. The estimate is 2,000 - 3,000 Euros.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! highly out of my budget but fabulous ! hank you for showing it to us. Rosanna