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.