1800s French Palais Royal Sewing Box and Twelve Mother of Pearl Enamel Tools. This is the style of sewing box Jane Austen and her family would have used in the early 1800s, or Regency years. via via suzilove.com and 1st Dibs Auctions 1stdibs.com
Definition: Palais Royal: Name of an area around the Royal Palace in Paris, France, that specialized in making small and exquisite works of art during the 18th and 19th centuries. Palais Royal sewing tools were elaborate and usually feature mother-of-pearl, often intricately carved or engraved. During the 19th century, workboxes were often works of art with engravings, carvings, mother-of-pearl, and elaborate gilt metal mounts. Most popular were scissors with steel blades and gilt mounts, thimbles and needle cases which were often shaped like animals or other natural forms. Workmanship was exceptional and the tools almost too fragile to use.
19th Century Snuff Boxes. Not only were boxes made to serve a purpose, but decorative boxes of all types were prized, especially in the 18th-19th Centuries when everything decorative and extravagant was in vogue and taking a pinch of snuff was fashionable. Snuff is made from ground or pulverized tobacco leaves and is sniffed from a pinch of snuff placed on the back of the hand.Flavorings were added to the tobacco to give a fast hit of nicotine and a lasting scent. Snuff began in the Americas and was used in Europe by the 17th Century.
Snuff became popular from the mid 1600s to the mid 1800s and was more popular than smoking. Inhaling snuff, or snuffing, was first seen by a European missionary in 1493 in Christopher Columbus’s new world within Haiti’s indigenous Taino. Until then, tobacco had been unknown to Europeans, but its use spread quickly throughout Europe during the 1500s. By the second half of the 17th century, ornate boxes started being produced to keep the precious powder dry and an entire industry making accessories blossomed around the fashion of taking snuff. Noblemen, and some women, carried extravagantly decorated snuff boxes with them at all times and would offer a pinch of their own particular blend to friends and family. Therefore, these boxes were always on display and so it became a competition to see who could have the most bejeweled or expensive box possible. By the mid 1800s, snuff taking was no longer popular so these exquisite and expensive snuff boxes became decorative, rather than functional.
How did people travel in past centuries? What did they take with them to make their long journeys easier? Craftsmen created containers of precious metals, leather, silks, and decorated them with jewels to make exquisite and expensive items as well as practical carrying cases.