Here’s another intriguing 200-year-old object from the Usmeum for which I have no story. Fitting neatly into the palm of my closed hand, it is a perfectly round box, 1 inch high and 2 inches across, made of a pale wood, possibly bamboo. It has become mottled and blotched over time, but you can still just about make out the design on the lid (above), an Oriental-style house with trees (and/or clouds?) around it. The base of the box carries more clues to its provenance:
The base carries some scrawled writing which I can’t decipher (possibly “Morley” or “Mosley”) plus the inscription “EATON 1825”. The name Eaton is the clue for me, as I know that two sisters by the name of Eaton married into the Horman-Fisher family. I only know this because of some 19th century watercolours that I found amongst Auntie’s things, which featured in an earlier post about the Horman-Fishers. I know no more about them, but the little round box is a treasure. I am convinced that many a tale lies concealed beneath that stained and blotted lid.
With thanks to Owen Llewellyn for these photographs