The creation of enamel boxes is truly an art that began in England in the mid-eighteenth century. The production of these collectables ceased until the late 1960's when the craft was given new life. Many factors contribute to the cost of each piece.
Background of enamel boxes
Types of enamel boxes There are many types of enamel boxes on the market today. Some feature detailed hand paintings while others are shaped like animals and known as Bonbonnieres. Snuff boxes can be large enough to display on tables or small enough to carry with you. Enamel boxes are used to store trinkets, jewelry, cosmetics, and are often used for decoration. Some people collect them for the value of each box while others to display their beauty. They are often themed for holidays and special occasions making them treasured gifts to offer and receive. Design and production Susan Benjamin, owner and founder of "Halcyon Days" is credited for bringing the enamel box production back in 1970 when her new products were placed on the market. The "Halcyon Days" enamel boxes were designed by Benjamin and manufactured by "Bilston & Battersea Enamels", a company owned by the Marshall family. Ian Marshall started a company called "Marshall Enamels" and later renamed it "The Ian Marshall Collection." Some of "Halcyon Days" earliest designs were limited edition boxes created to honour notable people, places and events in time. The company made special edition boxes for several well-known retailers including "Tiffany's," "Gucci," the "Smithsonian," "Horchow Collection," "Cartier," and "Neiman Marcus." "Crummles," founded by John Iris, produced storybook-themed enamel boxes that featured well-loved characters like "Winnie the Pooh," "Alice in Wonderland," "Paddington Bear," and "Beatrix Botter". "Staffordshire Enamels" took over "Crummles" and "Marshall Enamels." "Kingsley Enamels," renamed "Moorecraft Enamels" created enamel boxes that were painted free-hand in amazing detail. Elliot Kingsley Hall carried on his family's tradition of producing fine enamels with his company, "Elliot Hall Enamels." Mary McLaughlin, an American enameler started producing hand-painted enamel boxes in 1997. The First Lady, Hillary Clinton ordered fifty custom-made boxes from McLaughlin in 1999.
Cost of enamel boxes
Price Enamel boxes can be purchased for under a hundred to over a thousand pounds. Rare, antique and limited edition enamel boxes are highly sought by serious collectors and will cost more than new boxes of which many are produced. The boxes can be bought at retailers, auctions, estate sales, and even at thrift shops. The internet is a great resource for finding the perfect enamel box to add to your collection or to give as a gift. Some websites you can purchase enamel boxes from are Enamel Days, Gifts are Us, Staffordshire Enamels, Halcyon Days, eBay, The Stone Gallery, and Crummles.