Paper box with handsewn edges, c.1880

Veering away from my more typical posts showcasing inventive repairs on ceramics and glass, today I am featuring the art of a mended paper box. Before the invention of masking and Scotch tapes, damaged paper products were repaired using strips of thin fabric, patching with paper, and mending with thread. I have long admired the unintentional artistry created by patterns made by tiny stitches used to repair torn pages in a book.

This small green paper box, most likely made in New England in the late 1800s, measures 4.75 inches by 4.25 inches and is 1.75 inches tall. It seems the entire box fell apart and rather than tossing it into a roaring fire, someone quite cleverly stitched up every edge, giving it a unique folksy look.







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3 Responses to “Paper box with handsewn edges, c.1880”

  1. Erin-Marie says:

    This is adorable, particularly because the person who stitched up this little Franken-box was clearly either not a pro or in a hurry. Delightful!

  2. Joy Sigler says:

    It is sobering to contemplate how truly valuable and precious all paper products were before industrialisation. In addition to the delicate nature of paper in general the box is even more special. To only know what treasures the box held!

  3. Thanks Erin-Marie and Joy Sigler for your comments!

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