Heh. I love finding out about the things I bring back to my nest. While it was obvious to me how this box was made, I did not know the history of the type of art. Despite some describing these as "tramp art", this form apparently started during Victorian times when someone created a simple woodburning tool, which was advertised primarily through women's magazines in the late 1800s. It was so easy, it became all the rage... and more than one company, the biggest being Flemish Arts in NY, were only too happy to provide kits and supplies to the eager ladies. Flemish Arts was one of the few, if not the only, who stamped their products with their company name, so many people describe these wares as "Flemish Art". And here I was thinking it was from Belgium! This art form enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity in the 1950s as a children's kit, but I'm thinking this one is significantly older.
This box features a lovely decoration of a bunch of grapes still on the vine, with a leaf behind. It measures about 7" square, and around 3.25" high. I found one of a similar size with similar decoration described as a "hanky box". The box is lightweight, and has a locking closure on the front and two nailed on hinges in the back. The bottom is stamped with "Flemish 690", probably the model number of the kit or item.
CONDITION: Well. Considering this could be around 100 years old, I think it's in pretty decent shape. Let me describe what I see... I think it should all be shown in the photos. OK. The front has a bit of a chip on the lid on the left hand side. It's not a chunk, it's more of a worn spot, as though it got a bit of a bang. There is also a split in the back right hand corner. The bottom has a couple of splits. Oddly, the wooden parts are not loose, and it does not appear that any pieces are missing, just that the wood shrunk and split. I could be wrong on that, just telling you how it looks to me. There is some wear around the front closure, the lighter spots. The hinges look to be intact, and work fine... there's just a little bit of play, like the holes the nails are in have widened up, loosening the hinges just a tiny bit. I'd treat it with care. If the nails were able to be pried out, I suppose I'd consider coating them with a bit of wood glue and re-inserting to tighten it up a bit, but really, with a bit of care it should be OK. Oh. Those lighter carved areas... I think they're a bit dusty. I might give them a swipe with a toothbrush to see if it cleans up a bit. My research indicates that an application of tung oil would protect this wood from further drying without adding any kind of shine, but I'll leave that up to you. You might prefer it a bit dusty!
SHIPPING - Please note my quote is the 2# rate from East Coast to West Coast, worst case. If you live closer, or I overestimated packed weight, you could receive a shipping refund via PayPal. Feel free to convo me with your zip... I'd be more than happy to tweak shipping to your location and mark this item reserved for you! Take a look at my shipping policies for additional details...
**PLEASE contact me if you'd like additional pics, only allowed six here. I totally understand that when you can't pick something up to examine it closely, you want to see as much as you can, as clearly as possible.