Pressed Birch Bark Antique Snuff Box with Child and Chickens

Regular price $125.00

I had not seen a box like this one before I found it, but have learned that it is an antique snuff box representative of a whole genre of figurative birch snuff boxes made in the 18th and 19th century in Scandinavia and Germany, and also it seems in the U.S., as I found one in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts portraying the death of a general at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775!

The hinged box, which I believe dates to the second half of the 19th century, is made of solid wood with a birch bark veneer pressed/embossed with with this wonderful image of a very anxious-looking child surrounded by roosters, chickens and a few tiny chicks. I've found a few other snuff boxes like this that portray humorous scenes, and I believe here at the child's feet is a tiny little lock, implying that chickens have flown the coop! The sides of the box feature a scroll of what I believe are leaves and vines and other decorative flourishes, and the interior is lined in birch bark as well. Quite a fine and charming little box, I think, and great addition to the collection of any box lover (like me!) 

The box measures 4" long x 1 7/8" deep x 1 1/4" tall. It is a fairly delicate piece in good antique condition. There are a few small chips in the exterior bark along the edges, some darkening on the sides, and a bit of peeling off/loss of adhesion on one part of the back side (I have not touched it, but it appears that it would be easy to glue back firmly in place; as is one does not notice it has come loose unless carefully inspecting it). It opens and closes fine.