Well, I just read my last post about chronology problems. Wow, is that hard to follow…and I wrote it! Not my best effort – sorry. I guess it shows how confusing the chronology is and how much work we have yet to do.
Let’s have more fun this time around! I found a box on e-bay that was described by the seller as, “Lane?”. Based on the photos it looked like a really short Lane box so I “won” it to get a closer look. Got it cheap too – only bidder.
Here’s some photos…
First question, is this a Lane box or modification of one? Yes. All of these things match what we know about our boxes…cedar, wood thickness, corner radius, color, finish, locking rabbet joinery, length and width match Tall. The small hole in the lid shown above is evidence there was a locking catch once there. I also believe the box modifier person put the “x’s” on the back to denote how he was going to match the two pieces up before re-attaching the hinges. It would be a HUGE stretch to say this box didn’t start out as a Lane box.
Easy, right? Someone just took a box apart, chopped the top (OK bottom – just go with it) like a deuce coupe and put it back together. You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you? (Princess Bride reference). Not so fast!
The length and width tell us it had to have been a Tall box. Short boxes, as you can see from the last photo are deeper front to back. HOWEVER, all Tall boxes I have documented have two things this box doesn’t have. One, inset felt on the bottom. Mod? has felt but no inset. And the felt is bigger than original Lane felt feet. Two, there is no lid brand. Sure, it could have been sanded off. HOWEVER, as an experienced woodworker, I think I could tell if that much sanding had been done – no evidence at all. Plus, why would you go to the trouble? Some late model boxes had no brand but they were all Short.
The hole in the lid leads me to believe that the lid, at one time, did have a catch. I’m doubtful the hole to mount the catch was pre-drilled at the factory. So, I’m leaning toward a catch once being there. The “X’s” also lead me to modification. Marking parts to matching surfaces is very commonplace.
The box (less the lid) is very short – about 1 1/2″. Way short enough to have cut the lock hole escutcheon off. The overall dimensions are very pleasing to the eye. Good proportions were maintained.
How do I reconcile the discrepancies – no brand and no inset feet? No clue. Romantically I would say some rascal at the factory in AltaVista made it and it found its way to me. Who knows? I am going dub the box “Mod?” until I learn something else.
Pretty cool little box – one of my favorites so far.
What do you think it is?
Have a safe 4th of July!