Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tuesday.


Mystery object (and thoroughly boring it looks, too, like this). I received this item in the post this morning. The point of this toleware (japanned/painted sheet iron ware) is that the top of the container is painted with an inscription that makes the purpose of the container quite clear, which is why I show the base of the container above, and the inside of it below (I shall show a photograph of the top when someone guesses correctly, or when you've done guessing - whichever is the sooner).  It is just over three and a half inches long and just under  two and a half inches across. It was probably made between 1760 and 1780. What do you think it was made to contain - be specific please.

17 comments:

Sir Bruin said...

I'm guessing not snuff. Perhaps a container for spice of some sort? Pepper?

Mike and Ann said...

You're right Steve, in so far as it's not for snuff; and that's the point I'm trying to make, in that boxes of this size are nearly always assumed to be snuffboxes, and the inscription of the lid of this one proves otherwise (as will be revealed eventually).

Rog said...

What about a travelling tea/sugar box for itinerant tea drinkers?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Rog. Deferably NOT.

Z said...

I thought spice too, but nothing seems quite right. Nutmeg perhaps, if it's deep enough, but then I'd have thought there would be a grater. The Sage isn't, on this occasion, he hasn't come up with a suggestion.

Maggie said...

probably totaling wrong here, but did it contain lead powder for the face, or white powder for a wig?

Crowbard said...

Could it perhaps be a simple tinder-box, Mike?
Or a patch-box?
Or a bollus/pill box?
Or a powder compact for the same application as the biblical keren-hapuch?
Ha! got-it Mike, it's an archer's bow-string keep-safe.

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Zoe, Maggie, and Crowbard. Good reasoning from all of you, but nobody's got the right answer yet. I'll give the answer this evening, just off out now - busy day coming up. Wish you all a good one (day, that is).

Pat said...

Cotton wool pads. Looks the right size.

Crowbard said...

Hi Mike, Jude says "Is it your sporran, purse or small-change tin?" but we think it may be too big for that!
Big Love to you both,
C&J
PS the idea of a general pocket protector for keys or small items comes to mind. It looks too slim to be a watch-holder.
Could it be a slow-match holder for firing match-locks or canon?
It could be a folding-spectacle case if it was lined but being oval it is more likely to be a fried egg hamper!!!
Is it the case for the glass-eye made for the cyclops after the old Greek hero/thug had poked out his original peeper?
A wig box for a small dwarf?
The original Marmite tin?...
A rubbish bin for my stupid ideas?

Mike and Ann said...

I like Maggie's idea, but it is, as she says, probably wrong. In fact there is, I'm afraid Maggie,
no probably about it.

Mike and Ann said...

Carl and Judy now hold the record for EIGHTEEN incorrect answers in a row, and I must point out that the box (and I gave the measurements - three and a half by two and a half inches, by just over half an inch deep) is of course far too small for Crowbards last suggestion "A rubbish bin for my ............"

Anyway, enough of this frivolity. I am now about to illustrate the top of the container, which will reveal all.






.

Mike and Ann said...

Please see next entry - for Wednesday 7th August.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Pat. Yes it does look about the right size, except that, when it was made (latish in the 1700s) I think cotton wool pads were difficult to obtain. As, by the way, is starting another game of Scrabble. Have been trying to start a game with you on the new Facebook scrabble, but can't seem to get through - Any suggestions?

Z said...

Hello, Mike and Pat - if you go on to Scrabble, top left above the turns waiting for you to play is a box saying + Create New Game. Click on that and there's an option of which version to play (default is American, so do change it!) and then Play With Friends or Random Opponent. If you opt for the first, i'm sure you'll find each other.

Mike and Ann said...

Thank you Zoe. I've just followed your advice, found Pat, and started a new game with her. Well done!
Regards, Mike.

Z said...

Hurray!