I’m a sucker and box finishes

Hi all!

Shortly after my last post displaying photos of my collection I was lured into the world of e-bay and couldn’t resist bidding on a lot of 12 boxes.  And, of course, I “won.”.  I got them all for a really good “unit cost” of $5.50 including shipping.  I thought maybe there would be something I would find unique about these boxes. Not.  Of the 12 boxes, there was nothing of note that I haven’t already documented.

Unfortunately probably 10 of the 12 boxes were damaged – from bad finishes to broken lids, bent hinges, cracked boxes,. etc.  For a woodworker with experience in re-finishing it was a fun little project to get them all back to presentable shape.  I sanded all of the interiors because many were stained and the whole lot smelled of smoke when I received them.  With a thorough interior sanding and exterior touch ups – see below – the smell was pretty much gone.

The lot contained both Tall and Short boxes.  The transition from Tall to Short took place somewhere between 1957 and 1963.  Because a few of the boxes were in such bad shape, I didn’t feel bad about experimenting with some finish repairs.  Based on my experimentation I now believe all short boxes were finished with a lacquer based finish while some of the what I would consider older Tall boxes have a shellac finish.  My experimentation was pretty much seeing what solvent affected the finishes. This was really to be expected because from what I understand, many U.S. furniture makers starting using lacquer more widely around the turn of the century.

Not too exciting news – but something to add to the growing list of information about our cool little boxes.

Still looking for someone that knows more than me….please!












2 thoughts on “I’m a sucker and box finishes

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