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#64 ART DECO Treasure Box - Italian Tole, Handpainted, Florals
ART DECO Treasure Box - Italian Tole, Handpainted, Florals

May I offer...

AGE: C.1930 or so

ITEM: Another ornate piece from my collection! Possibly Florentine and definitely Italian, here's a smaller size, completely hand painted on all sides, here's another trinket box to be proud of. Made of wood, covered in gesso, handpainted in colors of buttercream yellow with a slate/blue trim and lots of roses with leaves of olive green, this box sits on 4 legs, has a curvy lid and is unlined on the inside. Let the pictures do the talking!

CONDITION: With all things old, and the delicate nature of gesso, the piece not only has a patina to the varnish but a bit of chippiness adding to the shabby chic-ness look. The inside of the box is still a bit dusty/dirty and needs a light clean. You certainly could add a fabric interior to make the inside look a liitle bit more receptive to treasures.

HALLMARKS: None that I can spot.

SIZE: Stands 2-3/4" high. Length is 5-3/4" at the base; width is 3-9/16" at the base.

FINAL COMMENTS: Like a small work of art, this is a piece to be displayed with pride in the house.

My thoughts on dating my pieces..... The best Italian tole (wooden) is, of course, antique, but there were certain periods of time when the Italians used the techniques and designs of ancient times. In my fact finding, the best tole pieces were from the 1900s to 1930s - wooden items were still of a unique design, were heavily gessoed (covered in a layer of white plaster), hand painted ornately (some pieces would take days to complete), and covered with a varnish that slowly turned a golden yellow over time. As the 40s and 50s came along, the amount of painting decreased quite a bit. The techniques in the making were still the same but the "ornateness" of the piece as well as the painting began to show an "assembly line" quality. By the time the 1950s-1960s rolled around, the pieces were down to small trinket boxes and you were lucky if you even got a small hand painted floral. By the late 60s into the 70s, transferware appeared as well as "blank" pieces, covered only with a layed of gilt paint and maybe a decoupage embellishment. So to put it simply, the best pieces are the oldest pieces and since the late 1990s, with the advent of shabby chic furnishings/decorative accessories, have been harder and harder to find as everyone wants to keep what they have found in their collection.




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