A rare circa 1720 “school girl” letter box belonging to a European pilgrim family is to auction at Early American History Auctions on August 26.
It displays a hand painted picture of a schoolhouse on the lid. At the front are the initials RW, for a name now long forgotten.
The box features the initials RW
Puritan pilgrims started heading to America in the hope of escaping religious persecution in the early 1600s.
Major colonies, like the settlement at Massachusetts Bay (founded 1628), were set up on the east coast.
This box originates from either eastern Massachussets or southern New Hampshire and would likely have been used to hold letters or small keepsakes.
It probably belonged to a young girl.
The auction house expects it to make around $12,000-18,000.
There’s also a pair of commemorative bellows made to mark an 1824 tour of America by French aristocrat and American Revolutionary War officer the Marquis de Lafayette.
It’s difficult to explain just how popular Lafayette was in America at the time, but the fact people were willing to buy sets of bellows with his face on them (as well as gloves, banners and plates - anything really) gives you some idea.
His triumphant return to the nation after years away in France was marked with huge celebrations and in true American fashion some enterprising individuals used the opportunity to make a killing.
The unusual lot is valued at $4,000-6,000.
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