Marriage box (coffret de mariage)

Object Number: 
ca. 1800-1850
Wood, iron, paint
Overall: 6 x 8 x 4 1/2 in. ( 15.2 x 20.3 x 11.4 cm )
graphite inscription inside lid: "859 / LE / FR."
Rectangular wooden box or chest with domed, hinged lid, iron latch and escutcheon, wire handle and carved slot on top; painted decoration consisting of birds flanking handle on top, with wreath of roses in middle, in red, blue,and white with some green leaves; front painted with swags of fabric pinned at intervals, in red, white, and blue, above roses and leaves strung below latch; on each side, string of three roses above swag of fabric painted with pattern in red, white, and blue; red, white, blue, and black paint on cream-colored ground, slightly discolored.
Gallery Label: 
Marriage boxes such as this were a traditional form in Normandy, France. Painted with symbols alluding to love and prosperity, the boxes were used by a new bride to store her money, jewelry, and bridal headress when she moved to her new husband's house after the wedding. The box was once part of the folk art collection of Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), the avant-garde sculptor. From 1924 to 1934, Nadelman's collection was displayed in his Museum of Folk Arts, located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The Historical Society purchased Nadelman's entire collection in 1937.
Credit Line: 
Purchased from Elie Nadelman
The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group