Boxes and Caskets

An ever-useful object, the box can speak a language of not just beauty, but practicality

Spanning millennia, it would be difficult to choose a period in which to discuss the evolution of the antique box. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries make an interesting starting point of observation, as this particular period is significant in the development of design from a societal and aesthetic point of view.

17th Century Tooled Leather Ducal Travelling Writing Box


19th Century Indian Circular Bronze Box


19th Century Patinated Bronze Indian Box


A 19th Century Tooled Brass Box


A Chinese Three Tier lacquered Wedding Basket


Do you have something you’re wanting to consign?

A Large Indian Ebony Box


A Regency leather Fitted Table Top Casket


An Indian Brass Box – 19th century


Bohemian Hardstone Inlaid Rosewood And White Metal Casket Box


Ceylonese Carved Ebony Work Box


Chinese Carved Tortoiseshell Card Case


Chinese Export Black Lacquer Work Box


Damascened Toledo Miniature Renaissance Cassone Attributed to Plácido Zuloaga


Decorative Ceylonese Carved Ebony Box


Decorative Indian Ebony box


Decorative Red Lacquered Indian Wooden Box


The eighteenth century was a time when the aesthetic took equal precedent to the practical – an increasing market for beautiful objects (now readily available to the larger-spread middle and upper classes, all of whom were now developing a discerning and evolving palate) drove innovation in design and manufacturing.

England, being at the forefront of manufacturing and craftsmanship at this time (partly due to its aggressive trading practices, and partly due to rapid development in industrialisation) made leaps in woodworking – Sir Samuel Bentham (c.1791) patented machines for planing, moulding, rebating, grooving, mortising and sawing. These innovations in production made exquisitely designed and crafted pieces available to a newly discerning, wider audience.

Nicholas Wells Antiques offers a plethora of antique boxes, dating not just from this age of innovation, but earlier and later periods – a cumulation of the finest examples from around the world, including (but not limited to) antique boxes from India and China, alongside European and Middle Eastern.

What makes the team here unique, is a collective knowledge base of the antique industry, and Nicholas Wells’s diversity of offerings. The collection comprises a wide range of antique boxes and accessories, that can be used for decorative or practical purposes, as well as investment. If you are considering acquiring museum-quality antique boxes for your collection, the team are at your disposal – we look forward to assisting you in your search.