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About the object

This needlework box is veneered in Masur birch and is attributed to Edmund Nye from around the middle of the 19th century. 

Berlin woolwork patterns arrived in England in the 1840’s and Edmund Nye is credited with being the first maker to adapt them for designs to use on Tunbridge Ware. The workbox has a central stylized motif set within small borders; the frieze of the box is inlaid with a large, scrolling foliage border, often favoured by Nye and taken from a Berlin woolwork design. The box stands on large stickware feet. 

The interior of the box is in excellent original condition and is fully fitted. The lid interior is ruched in pale blue silk within a small rosewood beaded frame, both of which are in fine shape. The box itself has a lift-out tray containing six spools, two lidded boxes, a tape measure marked in nails* and a delightful needlebook with original silk. All of these fittings are inlaid with miniature parquetry or tessellated mosaic. Additionally there is a rosewood thimble and eight rosewood winders. (Please note typically at this date the winders tended to be plain and the thimbles were always rosewood). 

*A nail was a unit of cloth measurement, probably named after the practice of knocking brass nails into the counters of fabric shops as a measuring guide. A nail is a sixteenth of a yard – 2.25 inches.



W 23.5cm D 18.5cm H 12cm

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