Of oblong shape with rounded ends, the base engine-turned and with a vacant circular cartouche all bordered by a narrow raised edge of foliate scrolls. The sides with similar engine-turning and the hinged lid with extremely crisp hunting scene depicting a fox pursued by hounds with two figures on horseback behind, all surrounded by trees and other foliage. The front of the lid with floral and leaf thumbpiece and with matching border to the base. The interior gilt.
Hunting Scenes have always been popular amongst collectors of boxes but seldom can we boast about one being in virtually mint condition. Often the high points on boxes with scenes in relief show some signs of wear but this is a rare survivor showing remarkable detail. The Birmingham box makers were prolific in producing a wide range of shapes with views, buildings and pastimes or sports and many other topics not only in relief but also with engraved scenes. Amongst the earliest are the Linwood vinaigrettes of Horatio Nelson dated 1805, these are always engraved but a few relief boxes by other makers depicting the national hero are known to exist.
The firm of Taylor and Perry evolved from Joseph Taylor (1767-1827) who had entered 2 marks at the Birmingham Assay Office before 1800. His sister married John Perry junior and between 1818 and Joseph Taylor’s death in 1827 the firm was run by Joseph, his brother John and John Perry, his brother-in-law. The firm of Taylor and Perry are amongst “The Famous Five” as described by Eric Delieb in his exceptional book “Silver Boxes”. For those not aware of the famous series of children’s adventure books by Enid Blyton, this is a reference to her creation of The Famous Five which was essential reading for children in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s and for many generations after. Delieb’s five include: The Pembertons, The Linwoods, The Willmores, The Mills Family and Joseph Taylor (including Taylor and Perry).