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Delicatelyart nouveau silvered pewter box with ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree) leaves and nuts, circa 1890.

Other similar boxes

Art nouveau bronze box with blue enamel decorative on top and side. Item was purchased by Mr. Neal A. Prince, architect and interior designer, in ZagrebYugoslavia.

Ginkgo biloba and Art Nouveau inPrague

Ginkgo biloba and Art Nouveau in l’Ecole de Nancy

Ginkgo Biloba in bronze

Art nouveau cast bronze chandelier

Buckle by Paul Emile Brandt

Ginkgo poem by Goethe

This leaf from a tree in the East,
Has been given to my garden.
It reveals a certain secret,
Which pleases me and thoughtful people.

Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One?

To reply to such a Question,
I found the right answer:
Do you notice in my songs and verses
That I am One and Two?

Fascinating Facts

  • Ginkgo biloba is known as a “living fossil tree”. This tree’s genetic line spans the Mesozoic era back to the Triassic period. Closely related species are thought to have existed for over 200 million years.
  • The nut-like gametophytes found inside the seeds are a traditional Chinese food and are believed to have health benefits.
  • Several ginkgoes were the only living survivors of an atomic bomb blast dropped on Hiroshima.

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Is a large chinese black lacquer box with a scene of figure in garden in multi-colored jade, soap-stone, ivory, mother of pearl, red-aventurine and agate. Early to mid 19th century.

Before restoration

During the latter part of the nineteenth and earlier part of this century ignorance contributed to the neglect of many of these fine boxes. Many must have perished or damaged beyond recognition.

Very few have survived in very good condition. A fragment of good lacquer represents hours of precious work.

Restoration must not be attempted as lacquer is very toxic and by the nature of the work not really possible or cost effective. Consolidation is the best way of avoiding further erosion.

Another examples

jade-carving-wood

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Whilst attachments for European made Singers came in cardboard boxes or tins, in America attachments could be supplied in a wooden fold out box which was patented February 19 1889. Usually associated with treadle machines the box was well made with dove-tailed joints and brass hinges.

Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Attachments Puzzle Box – Patent 1889

This is a reproduction copy of the 1889 patent for this famous Puzzle Box. It consists of one detailed drawing page giving all the details on how it was made.

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