Toleware Deed Box, ca. 1835
I bought it at a garage sale about three years ago. She wanted $45 for it. I was hesitant to give her the $45, so I waited a day. I went back, and she sold it to me for $25.
You're a hard bargainer! (laughing) And did she know what it was, or did you know what it was?
Well, what she told me was that her great aunt used to carry her lunch to school in it.
In Rochester here, right?
Well, in Churchville. We've kept it on a little desk that we have at home, and we just love it.
What you have is a toleware-- we call it toleware-- deed box. Probably a box that they would have kept papers in, and deeds for the house. So this is painted tin. And in New York State, there were a number of groups of painting schools, really, little shops, that produced and paint- decorated these tin objects. Tin was something that was very popular in the early 19th century. And this is a nice example, really, of probably 1820 to '40, '35, painted toleware. Wonderful bright flowers. You have these green and yellow leaves. And in the background, this purple color? On your box, a lot of it is missing, and this affects the value a great deal. This box, though, with the painted swags on the end, and nice decoration on the top, well, this box is easily worth in the range of about $1,100 to $1,400.
If the background were mint, it didn't have this deterioration, it would probably be over $2,500.
Wow, that's excellent.
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