11554

A REGENCY PENWORK CASKET, ITS EXTERIOR DECORATED WITH DEPICTIONS OF SEASHELLS AND CONTAINING THE ORIGINAL CONCHOLOGY COLLECTION

English. Dated 1820.

Measurements

Height: 30" (76.2 cm) Width: 18 1/2" (47 cm) Depth: 14" (35.6 cm).

Research
Of ochre colored penwork on a black painted ground. The rectangular casket with rising lid opens to reveal a compartmented interior with original pink paper lining and Etruscan style black and white painted border trim. Some of the shells with original finely written labels attached. A single drawer below the upper section similarly compartmented and filled with shells. The exterior of the casket decorated on all sides with depictions of shells.

Marks:

Inscribed in ink on underside of lower drawer:

Eliza Marriott
9th of October 1820
Temple Cottage
Sidmouth
Devonshire

Provenance:
Miss Eliza Marriott, Sidmouth
The personal collection of Mario Buatta, 120 East 80th Street, New York

This finely decorated Regency penwork box, designed to contain a shell collection, is signed in ink and dated by Eliza Marriott 9th October 1820. Her place of residence is also indicated; Temple Cottage, Sidmouth, Devonshire (figure 1).  Eliza’s box is dated when she was around 22 years old; it is not clear whether she herself decorated the exterior of the box or added her name with pride to her careful collection.

Archival research has revealed some interesting elements of her life. Born in India around 1798, where a substantial number of her relatives resided, she soon lost her mother and returned to England with her father, the wealthy Queen’s Council, Christopher Marriott. Both her uncles, Major Charles and Thomas Marriott remained in military service in India, until at least 1806, and the former through at least 1830.1

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.