Paint Decoration

Antique American Paint Decorated Box With Interior Landscape
  • This is a fabulous American paint decorated box which displays a wonderfully bright fanciful landscape when opened.  This 19th century box was likely painted by a coach painter.  The top decoration depicts a hand holding a rose.  The wrist cuff flairs out with lace.  The top, front and side edges of the box are painted with whimsical scrollwork.  The sides each bear an American eagle, each in a slightly different position but both on a stars & stripes shield and both with arrows clasped in their claws.  The interior landscape shows a church, a house and a fortress at a river's edge.  On the water are two boats with folky people in the boats.  Overlooking the scene, from the top of a mountain, stands a castle.  Framing the entire scene are brilliant red curtains with gold cording, as if the scene were painted as a theater backdrop.  Perhaps there is a print source for the landscape, but I suspect it is pure fantasy from the mind of the maker.  Scrollwork surrounds the front lock with a faux-painted escutcheon.  The box is dovetailed with square nails in the bottom.  The original lock box remains, but I have no key.  As you can see in the photos, there are bumps to the box, with some paint and gesso loss.  The bottom has a shrinkage crack.  10 1/2" x 8 1/2" x 6 1/8" tall.  Circa 1840.  This is really what I love about handling American folk art.  You'll never find another box like this.