Wave Crest Opalware Glass Collars and Cuffs Dresser or Jewelry Box by CF Monroe

Collars and Cuffs Dresser Box, circa 1880-1890. When these boxes were made in 1880-1890 clothing was all handmade. Men wore undershirts which would protect their dress shirts from use, but the collar and the cuff area took the most abuse and would wear out the fastest. So to save money, shirts without collars and cuffs were made and the collars and cuffs were bought separately. That way the shirts could be washed by themselves and the cuffs and collars would be stored in the boxes until their use.  These pieces are a beautiful way to buy back a little piece of American history. Dimensions: 5.5" tall x 7" diameter Condition: The gold hinge is tight and in excellent condition. The scalloped latch does not hang perfectly straight but fits tightly. There are a few small dark mars on the glass from age and use that can be seen in the photos. The fabric inside, the top of the box only, is original and in very good condition with two tears noted approx an inch long from the deterioration of the fabric over time. There is a faded pen or pencil mark on the lining noted as well.  There is one small blemish inside the piece that can be seen in the photos. There are no chips, cracks, or other damage noted.Transcription: 

Hi this is Jennifer here with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here to show you the find of the week. In my previous video I talked to you a little bit about Wavecrest and opalware and I really wanted to showcase this piece all on its own as the find of the week. This was another Wavecrest piece made by C.F. Monroe to hold collars and cuffs.  These were very big boxes that were lined at that time used exactly for that.  Because everyone was saving money back in the late 1800’s they started producing shirts without collars or cuffs because as men would wear their shirts the collar and cuff areas would wear out the fastest. By making separate collars and cuffs they could preserve the shirts longer.  There are some old collars in here and that is what they would use this box for.  They would keep the collars and cuffs in this box and save them for when they needed them. Of course when clothing started being mass produced there was no longer a need for these boxes.  You can see this probably has the original lining.  You can see where fabric is starting to break down a little.  There isn’t lining on the bottom of this piece.  This piece is marked Wavecrest on the bottom.  You can see the ornate design on the top.  It is a light blue with hints of light yellow and hand painted flowers.  He would order these blanks many times from France and then have them hand painted in the United States by different artists.  You can see all the scrolled design, the different colors and of course the hand painted flowers on the back and the beautiful gold gilt clasp.  It is an exceptional piece and something you don’t see everyday anymore.  These pieces are very old since they date back to the late 1880’s to early 1900’s.  Check us out on our website at www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com where we have more than just antiques and remember to like us Facebook.

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