Saturday, April 15, 2017

An Artist's Tool Box Mystery, Chapter 3

The bottom of the box contained two more separate boxes that held their own treasures. But first there was a pile of rags such as every artist needs. As a textile artist I also saw some beauty in the rags themselves. Subtle colors and interesting patterns in the stains. Note that the artist was using old embroidered bed linens for rags. Old cotton has such a distinctive feel to it.


There were several different jars containing various mysterious liquids and powders.

 
Many of the jars were re-purposed cosmetic and medicine jars.
I love the one with the flowered top.





Some of the bottles and jars have hand written labels but the labels mean nothing to me.




Well, I know that Turp is short for Turpentine but I have no knowledge of what Hour Varnish is or what Cabots could be.

The small bottle of Higgins Ink looks very familiar as does the jar of  Vaseline though with a notable difference; there is no 'Ponds' after Cheesebrough so it is from before those companies merged.


 "White Petroleum Jelly"; you mean there were other colors?

There was also an unopened box of an oil paint medium



Another mention of Boston


The Cigar box was a treasure on its own. The outside looked really good.


And the inside cover was beautiful.

Besides being wonderful containers for all sorts of things cigar boxes mean something to me since my hometown here in Connecticut has a long history in the tobacco and cigar industry. In fact the first cigar factory in the U. S. was located here. I grew up with a tobacco curing shed right in my back yard and spent quite a bit of time working to raise tobacco. In fact this particular box came from a factory in Connecticut.
 

The labels on the box are all clearly legible. There might be some information here that could solve our mystery but will take more research. When did cigars last cost between 8 and 15 cents?
 




 
One side of the box looked great but the other....not so much.





Apparently something that was stored in the box at leaked at some point.

 

This is what I saw when I opened the cigar box.


Another small bit of that black velvet and many bottles. The bottles hold metal powders.





There were many colors and various makers.



And the artist had apparently also made a mix that was put in an old salt shaker.

I am guessing that the silver powder from the pill vial in my first post was one of these metal powders. I did some research and found that these are used for tole painting;often with a stencil, and other types of decorative painting.
Remember the metal box from the first post? I am guessing that that was painted with these powders for practice using them.


And in the bottom of the cigar box there were a few more of the sharp pointed styluses (or styli), a large paper clip, something that looked like foil, and a few tongue depressors.


The small bottle is another old pill bottle that now holds silver powder. It originally held Alophen a mix of Aloin extract, Belladonna, Powdered Ipecac and Phenolphthalein. It was another medication for constipation. I have no idea who in the family had that type of problem so that is no help.


And now since I am tired and we will be having a family get together tomorrow I find I have to end this post without finishing the story. More tomorrow or the next day.

             

   

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