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Culture:American or English
Title:patch box
Date Made:1700-1730
Type:Personal Equipment
Place Made:United States or United Kingdom; England
Measurements:overall: 1/2 in x 3/16 in x 2 in; 1.27 cm x .47625 cm x 5.08 cm
Accession Number:  HD 68.163
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Silver patch box (unmarked) with a slightly domed cover engraved with a four-petaled and leafed flower; seamed, oval body with a banded base; and the initials "G S / I S" engraved on the base. This decoration is similar to another silver patch box in HD's collection (HD 96.058.1) attributed to Edward Winslow (1669-1753), and a patch box advertised by the Boston store Gebelein in "The Magazine "Antiques" (Vol. 108, October 1975), p. 594. However, this box and its decoration may have been very common since the Yale University Art Gallery also has a similar box made by John Dixwell (1680-1725) of Boston. Few English boxes were hallmarked; completely unmarked boxes as well as ones just bearing makers' marks were produced both in England and America. Although many American craftsmen manufactured boxes, they also imported these ready-made boxes from England, to which they could decorate and apply their own marks to the specification of their local customers, making it difficult to judge the origins of a given piece. Both men and women applied small, decorative patches to their faces to conceal blemishes and decorate the face and bosom in genteel society.

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