At the time this box was made, in the 1890's, most middle class British households (where a box like this might have lived) would have employed at least one or two live-in servants. Naturally, the maids, cooks and footmen (if a house was really fancy) would be expected to work on Christmas Day, serving their employers. Thus came "Boxing Day," the day after Christmas and the traditional date on which servants would receive their "boxes" (containing gifts or money or both) and have their day off. To this day, England (and the other Commonwealth countries) celebrate Boxing Day—not so much as a day off for servants but as a national holiday for all.
The English Arts & Crafts brass candle box, shown above, was made in the late Nineteenth Century. It offers an array of hand-hammered motif: heraldic, rampant lions, botanical embellishments and a quaint, somewhat pastoral, village scene. It would have hung on the wall, a handy place to find replacement candles. Today, one could use it to hold mail, important items near the door, that collection of television remote controllers, or any of your small, beloved treasures. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248