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Battersea Bilston English enamel boxes

From William Bunch Auctions and Appraisals of Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania,  found on AuctionZip,  was a collection today of Battersea Bliston English enamel boxes.

From Taylor B. Williams Enamels found at comes a vast amount of information and photographs about these beautiful little boxes. Here is a short quote from their website:

Perhaps there is nothing in all of English Decorative Arts that has continued to charm and fascinate the collector as much as English enamels on copper. These Georgian enamels were made in England less than a hundred years, from about 1750 to about 1840.

These small enamels, usually little boxes for the taking of snuff or tiny ones for the applying of beauty-spots (known as "patches" two hundred years ago), were often given as tokens of affection or esteem, little love-gifts or "Trifles".

Please visit their fascinating website for a treat.

Here are photos of some of the Battersea  Bliston English enamel  boxes auctioned today.   I had one in my possession before today but did not know what to call it. 

Please note that the company Halcyon Days makes the reproductions of these and that the popular auction site on the web has many original ones for sale at very inflated prices in my opinion based on the auction prices I saw this morning. .  Those sold today at auction brought prices from as low as $60 to the $250 range, not the  $300 to $500 range on the everyday auction site.  Many sold for between $100 to $200.

One can just look at the examples below to sense the pre-1840 time in which they were producted. 

The gift is small / But love is all. 

Within you'll see / what's dear to me ( mirror inside) 

Not all have scripted messages. 

Oh how dear/ thou art to me /  Then let me live / and die with thee. 

See below.

When this you see / you'll think of me /  Though many miles/ we distant be. 

The gift is small /  but love is all. 

May Trade increase / And bless our Isle /  And commerce make /  This land to smile. 

Long may we live / Happy may we be /  Blest with content /  And from misfortunes free. 

See below. 

Accept this Trifle from a Friend/ Whose Love for Thee / will never end. 

If you will not when you MAY / When you will you shall have NAY

A person without money and none he can borrow / small is his Credit/ And great is his sorrow. 

This box I intend a gift for my Friend. 

Open this box and to your eyes / It will reflect the Nymph I prize  ( Mirror inside)
Happy were I did it discover Whilst thus I gaze your favorite lover. 

Bind me fast or set me free / Give me love or Liberty. 

Make virtue still thy constant guard/ and Heaven will grant a sure reward. 

As thou alone hast power to please / love and give thy lover ease. 

Time by moment steals away / First the hour and then the Day /
Small the daily loss appears / Yet it soon amounts to Years. 

Let Friendship reign between us two /  then I shall happy be with you. 

When this you see / you'll think of me / though many miles / we distant be. 


  1. Wow, those are amazing Marshel! I love them! Never heard of them, or have never seen one! Now I will be on the lookout! Learn something new everyday! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas to you all too ! I remembered what you said earlier about pictures needing captions, so I added some for the ones that might be hard to read. I don't have any trouble because I actually still write like that !

  2. I misread all your comments about these boxes, sorry I thought you purchased them at the auction LOL

  3. Marshel you find the most wonderful real antiques at the auction houses you follow.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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