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!