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Boxes (Smithsonian IllustratedLibrary of Antiques)
Boxes - Smithsonian IllustratedLibrary of Antiques Author:William C. Ketchum, Jr. In the History of Mankind, boxes have had social and artistic importance in addition to their myriad functional applications. They have been made from the earliest times to the present, in all manner of materials, to serve a diversity of purposes from the purely utilitarian to the religious, the commemorative and the decorative. — Beginning with... more » some of the earliest examples available to us, William Ketchum descibes splendid boxes of ivory, ebony, gold and alabaster from the tomb of Tutankahamun; a gold-leaf box inlaid with mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli from the excavations of Ur; and remakable carved ivory boxes left behind by the artisans of Assyria.
In a geographical survey that ranges from England and the Continent through the Near East and Africa, the Orient and the South Pacific to the Americas, the author discusses the traditional boxes of each area, their functions, their methods of manufacture and the materials used to make them. In size the boxes range from half-inch pill- and patch boxes to nearly trunk-size storage and workboxes, and in style they vary from the simple, functional wooden nesting boxes made by the Shakers to the ornate snuffs created by virtuoso French jewelers and goldsmiths. Although boxes have most commonly been made of wood, such diverse materials as tortoiseshell, shagreen, glass, tin, brass and bronze, gold and silver, papier-mache, enamel, jade and lac11.2quer--among countless others--have been used in their manufacture. Round, square, oval and oblong boxes are available to the collector, but so are containers in more whimsical forms--stars or hearts, animals or books, even sedan chairs.
In a chapter on collecting boxes, the author gives suggestions for forming, limiting, and caring for a collection. A glossary of special terms, a list of further reading and a guide to public collections of boxes all combine to extend the usefulness of this concise work.« less