Over the past few century’s classy containers, including caskets of all shapes and sizes have played an important role in everyday life. They make ideal objects to collect. Many have lay gathering dust in storage units for years, because for a long time they were thought of as mere containers. Today with knowledge and information to hand they are recognized as important cultural objects. In some cases they are also precious works of art. This means for box buffs like me they are completely collectable in their own right. From the storage of tea or tobacco and toiletries and silverware complete with lids, boxes have come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Like this George III tortoishell number for sale at Christies they have been made from many different materials and their form, style and decoration reflect fashionable concerns, the development of society and culture, as well as its mores and manners. They provide an insight into the social rank and status of their owner, who was someone who probably well and truly thought ‘outside the box’.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.