Sew Useful. Sew Handsome.


Nineteenth Century Sewing (Jewelry) Marquetry Box with Removable Inner Tray (LEO Design)

Not so long ago, even in my lifetime, every household had a "sewing box."  In my boyhood, our family used a round metal tin, about the size of a cake, which probably held cookies in its first life.  It was white with big, bold roses painted on the lid.  It lived in the linen closet and would be pulled-out any time a button needed to be reattached.

A century earlier, a wooden box (like the one shown above) would have been customary in many households.  But sewing (and sewing repairs) were probably a far more common household activity back then.  So a purpose built—and handsome—container was called for (not a repurposed gift tin, such as we had).  Under the hinged lid, one finds an "upholstered" fabric pad, a convenient place to stick pins and needles.  And the inner tray lifts-out, providing convenient and neat storage for lots of small items.

On the whole, people today do not sew as much as they once did.  Perhaps they don't know how to sew.  Or, if they do, they do not do so very frequently.  So it's time for a piece like this to be repurposed—into a handsome and useful jewelry box.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome marquetry 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 (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248