Sewing box puzzle

This sewing box or work box was a much loved personal home accessory of Anna Walker (nee Blaxland), who married Thomas Walker of Rhodes on the Parramatta River, NSW.

As ladies of a certain social standing did not have many outlets for their artistic creativity, ability to compose and embroider designs on fabric was seen as a major accomplishment. Anna kept her embroidery tools, sewing items, beads and baubles in the box, along with invitations, letters and cards she had collected. This workbox of octagonal plan, is comprised of a lac filled engraved ivory veneer exterior secured to a sandalwood base. It features black floral motif borders to the exterior. An octagonal removable tray lifts out from the interior and contains nine compartments. Each compartment has a decorated lid with brass handle. There are four oval-shaped miniature aquatints secured to the underside of hinged lid. Several needlework accessories are held within these compartments. This item is held at the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection.

Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums. Photo © Jenni Carter for Sydney Living Museums.