Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vintage Treasure Box

At a estate sale last summer I walked into a closet and found only one thing - a worn and shabby box sitting on the floor. The wooden box was covered with faux woodgrain paper and lined in flannel. 

The box itself was sort of interesting, but of course I had to take a peek inside. It appeared to be filled with tattered and torn strips of organza, a few strips of silk, and bits of ribbon and lace. My junking heart started to beat a little faster!

I dug a bit further and what I saw intrigued me enough to take the box to the check out table. I couldn't wait until I got home, so I started pulling things out in the car while the DH drove. 

There were bits of lace, a ribbon rosette, and a bit of tucked trim.

There were a few crocheted pieces, including a doily edged with a silk ruffle.

There were lots of tassels and cords in various states of shabbiness, and a bit of fringed trim.

There were tools and bits of thread and a few other miscellaneous things, but possibly the best thing in the box was a huge knot of vintage French metallic trim with matching thread. It took me over an hour at home to disentangle it all. What you see below is just a portion. I've since sold and gifted quite a bit, but will be keeping the most of what remains.

At the bottom of the box I found a Brainerd & Armstrong Co. book titled "Embroidery Lessons with Colored Studies" printed in 1900. The book has over 100 pages of embroidery illustrations and stitch instructions. It also contains sixteen full-color plates of embroidery designs. The former owner tucked bits of embroidery floss between many of the pages - some in the original late-1800s packaging, and some loose. Bits of crochet and newspaper clippings were also tucked into the book.

I thought this hand painted hankie with the note folded inside was sweet. 

And what about the bits of fabric that were at the top of the box? I've yet to wash and press them, but I rather imagine I'll find a use for many. 

My visit to the sale was late in the day so apparently this box of goodness wasn't to most people's taste. I'm so thankful for that, as I think it's found the perfect home with me!


  1. Now that's what I call a treasure box. I got excited along with you looking at the photos. The box itself is wonderful, but to find all that treasure inside - priceless!

  2. looks like you hit the jackpot............thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my good golly!! I totally "get it" and would have arm wrestled you for this score!! 8+)

  4. Wow! Now that is a treasure chest indeed! X

  5. It was meant to be yours...what a lovely find!