Antique 19th Century Rosewood English Dressing Box
Extremely Fine Antique 19th Century Rosewood English Dressing Case or Vanity Box | Circa 1840 | Inlaid brass corners and hardware throughout this nicely appointed Dressing Box | Opens to reveal a marbleized paper and leather lined interior
Extremely Fine Antique 19th Century Rosewood English Dressing Case or Vanity Box | Circa 1840 | Inlaid brass corners and hardware throughout this nicely appointed Dressing Box | Opens to reveal a marbleized paper and gold foil stamped leather lined interior | Measures 5 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ x 8 1/2″ | Very Good Condition considering age and use.
History of Dressing Cases and Vanity Boxes
Towards the end of the 18th century, dressing cases were manufactured specifically to accompany upper class gentleman during travel. Dressing cases were originally rather utilitarian but they spoke volumes about their owners’ wealth and place in society, as at that time, traveling was only undertaken by the elite.
Gentleman’s dressing cases would contain bottles and jars for colognes, aftershaves and creams as well as essential shaving and manicure tools. As these boxes became more popular, many further traveling item options were offered for inclusion. By the early Victorian era, ladies also began to travel and suddenly their requirements were anything but utilitarian! Ladies dressing cases could feature a wide range of decorative bottles and jars as well as a vast array of beautification tools, all designed with pure luxury in mind. The exterior of the box became almost as important as the interior and these boxes started being veneered with beautiful exotic woods from all over the world.
As demand for gentleman’s boxes lessened, the dressing case started to also become known by the more feminine term ‘vanity box’. These boxes, with their excessive price tags, were now considered as true works of art and beauty in their own right, and were often bought as status symbols rather than actual traveling companions.
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