Figured Walnut Sewing Box, Philadelphia

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Classical mahogany and burl veneer decorated sewing box featuring a dark wood diamond inlay on the top surrounded by figured mahogany and burl veneer edging with small corner fans.  The interior with a mirror and inset divided tray retaining an ink on paper label of the maker on the under side,

“Philadelphia, November 3rd, 1838, Jacob Shaffer, Maker.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dated 1838.

Possibly made by Jacob Shaffer / Shafer (b.1794) of Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He is listed in the United States Census of 1850 as a “Laborer,” although his sons, Jacob Shafer II (b.1830) and William Shafer (b.1829) are identified as saw makers.  Certainly the creation and use of the decorative veneer found on this finely crafted box would have called for the use of specially made saws.