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Box (Casket)

Elizabeth Nickholls, English

Made in England, Europe


Wood; silk satin with silk embroidery in satin, laid, and couched stitches; silver gilt trim

10 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 10 inches (26.7 x 19.1 x 25.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Elizabeth Albert, 1984

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In the seventeenth century, a girl’s needlework education culminated in the production of an embroidered box called a “casket” or “cabinett,” typically worked in tent, raised, laid, and couched stitches. Images on the casket often depicted biblical tales. The panels on this example portray the religious story of Esther, a Jewish heroine who saved her people from a Persian assault. Her admirable behavior likely served as a model for the casket’s young maker. Caskets frequently held prized possessions, such as jewelry and writing equipment; as they were personally valuable, they were sometimes preserved in a professionally made oak box.

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