A painters' box made from an eighteenth-century book.

circa 1780.

Mottled-calf binding sculpted to form a painters' box 210 x 140 x 55 mm, fully-lined in floral linen with two-removable inner trays, containing 28 ceramic paint-shells and three paint-brushes.

Eighteenth-century book-art

An eighteenth-century painters' box intricately sculpted from a book-binding of full mottled-calf with marbled fore-edges. Intriguingly the spine label in German reads Sammlung der Schönsten Farben [Collection of the most beautiful colours].

An eighteenth-century painters' box intricately sculpted from a book-binding of full mottled-calf with marbled fore-edges. Intriguingly the spine label in German reads Sammlung der Schönsten Farben [Collection of the most beautiful colours].

Within, the box is lined in floral linen, with small table-legs sculpted from the top board functioning as props for the drying paints. The top (of two) lined removable inner-trays retains two-dozen small ceramic paint shells still bearing the traces of dried watercolour as if waiting for the absent artist to return.

From the late 18th century through the 19th century, the market for printed books and domestic art contributed substantially to the growth of the watercolour, with soluble watercolour being invented by William Reeves in 1780. Watercolors were used as the basic document from which collectible landscape or tourist engravings were developed, and hand-painted watercolor originals or copies of famous paintings contributed to many upper class art portfolios.

A wonderful example of book-arts.

Price (AUD): $3,500.00  other currencies Ref: #3706053