I've been looking a long time for an antique shellwork box to really love, and finally found it in the this one (though I am still on the hunt for a sailor's valentine!) As a genre, I think of these as the coastal cousins of chip-carved tramp art boxes, but I've found it rare to find ones that elevate gluing to shells onto a box to something that feels like an art form! I think in part it is the use of crushed shells to encrust every inch of the surface here, and also the use of a wide variety shells of different shapes and sizes. This one is really fully resolved, equally good from every side and angle. Plus it it is in terrific shape, with only the most minor of loss on the exterior, and a nice trim-lined blue interior as well. The hinges are firmly attached and operate smoothly. Really a nice one, which I believe dates to the very early 20th century.
It is heavy for its size and feels quite substantial. 8 3/8" l x 6 3/8" d x 3" t. There may once have been fabric attached to the bottom that are some point was removed. There are a few stains to the blue fabric on the interior.