Collecting Vintage Silver Keepsake Boxes

February 16, 2024

Collecting Vintage Silver Keepsake Boxes

Trinket or jewelry keepsake boxes have taken on many forms since their first conception in ancient times. However their purpose remains the same; to store jewelry and other items precious to the owner. 

Originally, these boxes were used specifically for jewelry. These were in common use as early as 5000 BC in Ancient Egypt, when the majority of Egyptians, both male and female, wore jewelry. Boxes were used to keep these gemstone-encrusted items safe. In Ancient Rome, rings and brooches were utilized to represent one's status in society. Boxes were needed for security and storage purposes. Finding early examples of these are quite rare. 

Victorian and Edwardian examples of trinket boxes are far more common. This is because owning jewelry– let alone possessing so much a box was needed to store it all– was a luxury before the Victorian era. After the industrial revolution, fine jewelry became available to the masses due to the reduction in production costs. This led to a demand for trinket boxes, which were much smaller than jewelry boxes and therefore better suited to the needs of the middle class who did not yet possess an abundance of jewelry.

Silver Plated Keepsake Box, Early 20th Century

In Victorian households, collectables and other items of interest were also stashed inside these boxes. This is why they are known as trinket or keepsake boxes, rather than just jewelry boxes. Trinket boxes were produced in large numbers around this time. Many were lined with colored velvet or rich wood. More elaborate designs had interior divisions and trays for rings and other pieces of jewelry. It was also common to see trinket boxes so small that they could only contain one item, such as a single ring or bracelet.

Hallmarked Silver Plated Keepsake Box - Sheffield, UK, Circa 1900

The Edwardian era saw the introduction of new styles of trinket box. These included small circular or oblong boxes that stood raised on cabriole legs. These often featured lids made of tortoiseshell or other luxurious materials.

Hallmarked Silver Plated Keepsake Box - Sheffield, UK, Circa 1900

In the 1900s through the 1930's more streamlined and modern Art Deco styles became popular. Most of the keepsake boxes we have date from this era. To see our whole collection of vintage silver or silver-plated keepsake boxes, click here.  




Also in Blog

Connecting the West with the Pony Express
Connecting the West with the Pony Express

April 04, 2024

Illustrated by American artist Kermit Oliver, “The Pony Express” silk scarf design was first issued by Hermès in 1993. Known for incorporating western themes and Native American iconography into his work, Oliver aimed to celebrate and memorialize the culture of those normally overlooked by larger fashion houses and brands. So it is no surprise that the riders and history of the Pony Express inspired Oliver to create this colorful and dynamic scarf design. Read more about this stunning scarf design and the 1860s Pony Express mail service on this week's blog. 

View full article →

American Mapmaker A.J. Johnson
American Mapmaker A.J. Johnson

March 28, 2024

Johnson maps are popularly known for their intricate detailing, delicate borders, and fine attention to detail. Read more about this famous American mapmaker.

View full article →

Advantageous Agriculture: A Look Into the U.S. Crop Corps and Other Agricultural Endeavors During WWII
Advantageous Agriculture: A Look Into the U.S. Crop Corps and Other Agricultural Endeavors During WWII

March 20, 2024

Always sure to spark an audience’s interest, this World War II Crop Corps poster highlights a lesser known initiative that was aimed towards bolstering American agriculture during wartime. The Crop Corps utilized alternative labor forces to make a crucial contribution to the war efforts. 

View full article →