A whole lot of love and care went into the creation of this little box, from the harlequin patterning on all four sides (carved then painted rather than inlaid), to the roses and vines painted on the lid, to the turning arm with arrow pointer that would have (it no longer holds tension) made it open like a puzzle box, to the pretty fabric lining on the interior. And, finally, a handwritten inscription on the underside: "Forget me not / forget me never / till yonder son [sic] / shall set forever." Very dear.
3 5/16"l x 1 11/16" w x 1 3/4" t. Mid 19th c. I would guess. The screw holding the turning arm on the lid no longer threads into to hole in the base of the box--perhaps there was a threaded piece inside the hole that is lost--so the lid just lifts off. Otherwise very good condition, with some fading to the painting on the lid (the decoration, hand-painted roses on a vine-is somewhat faint) and to the inscription.