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History of Jewellery box 2012/5/9 03:18
Hi, I was left this box by my grandmother as I'd always loved it. I know my uncle had bought it when he was deployed-around 1951/2) I just wondered if anyone could give me any history on it? like year they were made, any specific region? hand crafted? have never know the info and something I would like to tell my daughter of as she will have it one day.Have enclosed a link to a picture. Many thanks
by Ashleigh (guest)  

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/9 13:55
I am an Antiques dealer who has lived in Japan. The one photo gives limited depth of insight to the whole peice. A view of the bottom or any makers marks would have been helpful. Given this, the "tourist" like export style of the painting on the lid is typical of the occupation period. [ 50's]

Now, here is something interesting. The key and key slot seems quite sturdy, well made even somewhat more elegant than the painting style. Furthur, there appears to be some deep chips on the underside of the lid. This would not be typical of a quick paint job but of a deep lacquer finish that was chipped off. I am on a limb here but I am guessing that perhaps what you may have is an older box that was very plain when it was made, but overpainted to appeal to the 1950's GI that bought it. In that era, many things were re-purposed, this may be one of them. It is not clear, again from the one photo, when this actual box [not the painting] was done. It might be much older. A photo of the inside, the hinges, and other features might reveal more. It has a "campyness" that many find attractive. It is not impossible that it ws done in China, or elsewhere.
I would love to get other takes on it. Hope it helps.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/9 18:16
Hi peter,
Thank you so much for your reply. I was very interested by what you wrote. I have included a couple of more pictures, however have no time right now to take a hinge shot from the back angle as I have to head to work, I will try to take one later. Thank you so much again.

by Ashleigh (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/9 18:20
Opps forgot to add there is no mark on the bottom, maybe it has worn, but the bottom is not smooth like the back, but coarse. I know the music mechanism is by Sankyo, AT code which is Trumerei tune...Probably not much more help hehe.
by Ashleigh (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/9 23:59
Your photos clinched this "mystery".
You didn't say it was a music box !
Sankyo Co. Is the largest maker of music boxes, and has been in business since after WW2. They are still in business today.
Saw the hinges. They are consistant with this now.
I rescend my initial guess about the box. It was made by Sankyo as a music/jewelry box, probably in 1949/1950. The condition seems fair, with a couple of chips as you know.
If the mechanism still works it would be nice to know the tune it plays. Don't overwind it, but let it play a little every so often. No oiling is necessary.
It is factory made, and hand painted, and a collectable.
Enjoy your music box.

by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/10 01:42
The tune is Traumerei, one of Robert Schumann's most known pieces. I managed to see the code on the cyclinder then look it up on one of Sankyo's sites.

Thank you for your help Peter, it has been most appeciated that I now have some history on something I love which I could not find on an internet search..so im glad I tried here, thanks again!
Has inspired me to collect more Japanese pieces, not sure what yet, but I love them.
by Ashleigh (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/10 11:43
You are very welcome. I was happy to help you. Collecting asian and especially Japanese antiques is one of my minor passions. I have some woodblock prints and some netsuke. I have a great fondness for Japan having lived there for 3 1/2 years.
As you go forward, be a little careful in your collecting, there are many fake and substandard offerings out there. So enjoy doing your homework ! Yours was easy. Porcelains especially can be very tricky.
You can always ask.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/13 00:19
One of my passions is watching the Japanese tv show "Nandemo Kanteidan" the antiques appraisal show with a roadshow component where the audience brings in their 'treasure' for the regular panel of experts to assess. Some friends kindly arrange for us to see the program. It's a highlight when a new show arrives as I'm not in Japan to see it regularly.
You're right about the fakes out there, so many people, especially amateur collectors with money to burn in the bubble years have been taken in by good & bad quality fakes.
But it's such a terrific show and I learn a lot watching it (my Japanese isn't great but being a visually based program it's easy for me to follow.)
by Lisa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: History of Jewellery box 2012/5/13 02:42
Thank you for the lead. I didn't know about this show, but will try and find it. My Japanese isn't very good either but I might be able to roughly follow it. In Japan the concept of "anitque" probably has a much different age scale. In the US its about 100 years for most "smalls".
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

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