Well, what a box! And what a curiosity! (I'm just sorry these photos do no justice to its great warm patina and wonderful, weighty presence.) I like to think this is the box in which Nathaniel Hawthorne delivered the handwritten manuscript for "House of the Seven Gables" (based in Salem, MA) to his publisher in 1851--or "Part Five" of it, specifically. The box itself, with these fantastic fat dovetailed corners, I do believe is at very least that old, and if it did not house part of Hawthorne's original copy of the novel, perhaps it held his preparatory notes and research for it, or maybe it housed pages of it at the printing house, or at a library. In any event, it's really a fantastic piece with an interesting history, for sure, and in great shape to hold the pages of a great American novel yet to be written! Just wonderful.
I found this box at a terrific antique shop in Maine. It's large, and heavy, and very structurally sound, with a perfect mix of scrapes, dings and aging to the wood. The slide top opens with ease, and closes tight and flush. It measures 14 1/2" long x 11 1/2" wide x 5 3/4" tall.