ANTIQUE BOXES WITH CONTENTS:
This LeFranc box is loaded with old paints, a few brushes, and a palette knife. This box came from France, has a leather handle, well-stocked, lots of charm.
This box has great hardware, a delicious double-dipper, some fat tubes of paint, and a handful of brushes. This is an English box that came off Portabello Road Market.
Here’s a really unusual box for a couple of reasons. The artist seems to have created his own hinge with a bit of canvas or duck ‘tape’ and nailed it into the body and lid to keep the lid from falling backward. Many of these boxes, as you well may know, didn’t come with a lever hinge, so the lid would fall back into a painful-looking position whenever the box was laying open. Additionally, the artist cut and inserted little wooden blocks into the lid so that he could (presumably) use small circular palettes, or smaller square palettes. Most good artist used the palette for a limited time and then moved on to another. In this case, the artist could replace the palette with either shape and still make it secure inside the box. The inscription inside the lid reads ‘Curly ’25’.
A Lyon box, as indicated in the lid. The double dipper is spectacularly large. The are brushes here, oils paints, a huge amount of long charcoal sticks, and a regretfully bad watercolor study tucked into the lid. Oh well, at least the box is beautiful.
This box, meant for a folding palette, had phenomenal hardware. There are two totally different dippers, and three really special brushes– wrapped in shell or tortoise (hard to tell). The clasps are sharp and look like dragon talons. Really different.
Fabulous hardware again, a really loveable dipper, and some brushes that have more paint than most palettes. There are a variety of old brushes in this box as well as charcoal. From France.
This box speaks for itself. I got this at Amsterdam’s most famous street market, the Albert Cuyp Markt. This is a small brass-bound trunk the artist has converted into an art box. He had built a tray for paints and seems to have kept his raga and filthier bits in the lower half. All of the paints are, as you would expect, Dutch. It is a novelty and a great collection-builder – to have Rembrandts and Talons in DUTCH. The dipper is enormous – more like a cup. The chest itself is spectacularly pretty. The artist built a shelf into the lid that just about any palette could slip into. This box was featured prominently in the Homes & Antiques feature.
What’s strange about this box is that it’s Eyre & Spottiswoode – who were primarily a printing house. I don’t think I could find another box by them is someone was holding a gun to my head (you never know). This artist, for some strange reason, kept his used caps. Since these are the original contents of the box, I do have to wonder whether he was saving up to replace some of his spent colors.
I’ll take some more photos of this box tomorrow. It’s a spectacular little French pochade box that folds up to be about 52 x 32 x 11 cm. A very compact, dainty little skeleton of a thing. This is another great piece from France.
I may be listing more boxes/ antique artist supplies as I gradually unpack from our last move. Email me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org