Antique Boxes: The Different Types of Collectible Boxes for Collectors

Published: 14th February 2011
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When people look at antique boxes, they are reminded about different things. There are people who associate these with adventure and hidden treasures, others think about precious jewels, others get a feeling of nostalgia, and some romantic ladies canít help but think about rings the moment they see an intricately detailed little ancient box. Small, century old boxes with original artwork are sought after by many collectors all over the world.

The collection of these old containers is an endless field of pursuit and enjoyment what their variety getting rarer every year and if one encounters a century-old box, it is most likely a very good imitation of an original.

Collectors may collect by type of material: wood, silver, gold, ivory, etc. or by type of box: pill boxes, nutmeg grater, snuff box, vinaigrettes, match safe, etc. or by decoration and style: miniature paintings, repousse, engravings, enamel, etc.

As collectible, these items range in price. Collectors can get them for a few dollars to several thousands and the price depends on the condition and material of construction as well as the age, artwork and maker of the box. Boxes crafted from the 18th century are the ones currently available collectors and anything from an earlier century is really hard to come by as they are mostly destroyed or are in private collections and museums.

Here are the types of antique boxes available to collectors these days:

- Nutmeg graters - people in the early 19th century make use of these boxes to carry nutmeg around with them which they grate when necessary into their drinks. These are priced according to material with a simple tin one fetching less than $100 USD and silver ones as much as $1,500 USD.
- Snuffboxes - these are the most sought after collectibles and are common during the 18th and 19th centuries. They were usually made from tortoise shell, animal horns, wood, enameled copper, pewter, silver, gold and papier-mache.
- Vinaigrettes - these are really tiny collectibles and usually have a hinged lid as well as a hinged grill within that holds a sponge saturated with scented liquid. These are often carried around by ladies as well as gentlemen and sniffed when a foul smell suddenly invaded the air. Collectors get these based on the grill decorations which are usually floral in nature. Other decoration themes like animals and people are very rare.
- Match safe - these were used in olden times to keep self-igniting matches from lighting up. These antique boxes are well decorated and many come in figural designs.

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Learn more about antique boxes and the different types of it.

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