Again it is not easy to be certain that these boxes were definitely made or decorated in Tunbridge as the inspirations for the pictures were often drawn from pattern books available throughout the country.

However even if they were not decorated by the Tunbridge makers many of these boxes were supplied ‘in the white’ by them, for ladies to decorate at home. The parquetry and long triangular ‘vandyke’ patterns, which decorate the Tunbridge Ware boxes of this period, are of such distinctive quality that they cannot be mistaken for anything else.

These boxes were mostly small, sometimes circular or in the shape of baskets.

Small turned boxes as well as many sewing implements and pens were made in stickware.

century boxes, parquetry, vandyke and stickware are often found in decorative combinations, although boxes from the first two decades are more restrained and only feature parquetry and vandyke patterns.

The rods were then sliced into transverse sections and used as decorative veneers of small geometric patterns.

Alternatively the prepared rods were turned to make small objects or ‘toys.’ It was of paramount importance that the rods to be turned were prepared with the utmost precision so they could withstand the vicissitudes of the lathe.

The structure of the box is almost identical to the previous example, which makes me think that they were made in the same workshop, if not by the same hand. It is very much within the neoclassical tradition, but the lightness of execution and the dot background design lighten the formality of the classical arrangement.

The central oval scalloped wreath design is elongated upwards which is contrary to tradition.The result was that the box looked as if it was decorated with inlaid tesserae.In the best examples of mosaic contrasting colours of wood were used carefully, to create well defined patterns.The range of wood used to decorate these boxes is unparalleled.It includes: naturally green fungus-attacked oak, holly, burrs, patterns made in the wood by fungus infection or peculiar growth, snakewoods (bamboo or palm treated with black polish to create snakeskin effect) as well as fruitwoods, root woods and exotic timbers newly arrived in England.The whole of the top is edged with a half herringbone banding.