Every country has its typical, traditional National money box—a place where money-changers, shop keepers and street vendors can keep their cash (safe and organized) while doing business. In England, cash boxes seem frequently to be black-painted steel with gold edging, sometimes with additional decorative painting on the top. In other countries I've seen other commonly-used styles: wooden boxes or trays (with or without denomination dividers), plastic "tackle" boxes with a top handle, or even old coffee cans. In America, at least within my lifetime, I've always observed merchants using the same very utilitarian, hinged rectangular metal boxes—usually finished with soft grey or putty colored baked enamel. A removable black plastic coin tray usually sits inside.
The Victorian English miniature cash box, shown above, was never a serious money box. It would have been used to keep trinkets or other precious collectibles. But, like its larger brethren, it has the black-painted steel body, gold accents along the edges, and a decorated top. One could use it today to store precious items: sentimental stones, baby's teeth, locks of hair. Or more mundane fare: collar stays, guitar picks, paperclips. It could also be used to present something truly special: an engagement ring or the key to a new home. Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome (and useful) little box.
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 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