Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve 2015.

                                             Mystery Object.

Not really a mystery object, although it's a bit larger than usual - it's a good four inches long.
Please tell me what you think it is for; when, and where do you think it was made, and (this is the mystery bit) of what do you think it is made  (please be specific here)?


We wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, and send our warm regards to all our readers -
                                       Mike and Ann.


Liz said...

I've no idea what that is, but Merry Christmas anyway!

PS: Is it made of chocolate? (this is not an entirely serious suggestion and no, I haven't been at the sherry. Yet).

Crowbard said...

I think it is a French late C.17th. lacquered papier-maché box. Since you say it is bigger than usual I will guess it is a snuff-box. I like the depiction of children playing blind-man's-buff.

kippy said...

Merry Christmas to you too. My guess would be a Dutch snuff box, about 1820.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Liz. Thanks for your comment - not chocolate as you so sapiently point out. Wish you both a good Christmas, and talking of the Great Bear, I've just been outside trying to take a picture of the full moon, which turns out to be well nigh impossible with a bog standard Lumix camera. Will try again tomorrow when it really is a full moon (if it's a clear night tomorrow.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello crowbard. It is, as you say, a snuff box, almost certainly a table snuff box, given its size. I think it's probably German or more probably Scandinavian, made about the middle of the 19th century, say 1850-1860.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Kippy. Nice to hear from you. I think geographically and period wise, you are the closest, so far. Some of the others really are barking up the wrong tree.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. I haven't yet told you the substance this box is made from. It is birch bark. It is rather a difficult thing to say, but this is a birch bark box.

Mike and Ann said...

P.p.s. Did nobody spot the obvious clue I gave in my reply to Kippy's comment "barking up the wrong tree"? Shame on you!

Nea said...

Sorry, we were out at the cottage and then i got sick :(
I guessed it was birchbark, but I have seen quite a lot of different articles made from it :)
What does the box look like on the inside?
Could have been made larger to contain "snus" rather than snuff?

Mike and Ann said...

Hi Nea. The inside of the box has those horizontal darker flecks that birch bark has, and it has then been lacquered.
I think your idea of it being a snus box is probably a good one. For my other readers I should perhaps explain that 'snus' is one of the only Swedish bad habits. It's about half way (the actual distance has never been reliably measured) between a coarse, moist, snuff and chewing tobacco. It is inserted into the mouth between the upper lip and the gum. If indulged in, a very British 'Stiff upper lip' must be adhered to, as, if the taker of snus smiles, the dark brown juice runs downs his chin, and if he laughs a stream of the same is ejected all over his companion's weskit or blouse. As a result of this frequent but unfortunate occurrence, it is considered a somewhat unsociable habit in the best of Scandinavian circles.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Sorry Nea. I should have said - I trust you have recovered?