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S/564 Early Victorian Papier Mache Domed Top Stationery Box by Clay & Co. London

The domed lid decorated with a mother of pearl and gilt motif and enriched with gilt and mother of pearl banding to each side, opens to reveal an interior of six divisions and a lidded compartment for stamps and wafers, lined in blue silk and velvet throughout.

To the front is a further mother of pearl motif decorated with gilt, below a lock and key. To the base is stamped: Clay & Co. 20 Pall Mall London. The whole is in good condition and a most attractive design.

In 1740 John Baskerville began imitating the lacquered pieces from Japan. In 1772 his assistant Henry Clay based in Birmingham patented his method of producing it so that it was as durable as wood. When the patent expired in 1802 other manufacturers took up his method, notably Jennens and Bettridge. In the nineteenth century Clay & Co. moved to London.

Sold 8 in. (21.5 cm.) Wide
4 in. (11.5 cm.) Deep
5 in. (14.5 cm.) High
English Circa 1850