I've been paying more attention lately to early painting techniques as applied to the decoration of utilitiarian objects, from smoke painting to to a huge variety of approaches to grain painting--originally used to imitate the look of more expensive woods, but really taking on a life of its own as a form of creative expression. (What I am really coveting now is a thumb print painted box!) This is not a fancy box--it was made to be used, and has been, with plenty of wear to the paint--but it's sturdy as they come, with great color and a really nice feel about it. The perimeter is grain painted, the center a sort of light mustard with a little acid to it (and nice craquelure), and with a thin orange line of trim inside of that. Mid 19th c. I believe, and good for holding cards received or yet to be written, or bills yet to be paid, or a trove of whatever.
12 7/8" x 7 7/8" x 4 3/8" and in great structural shape. Overall surface wear, which exposes salmon colored underpaint, especially on one short side. Hinges sound and well attached.