Trinity House Boxes

A mahogany Trinity House box with a lighthouse scene on the lid

p4A ItemID D9978071
A Trinity House mahogany box with pennants and flags

p4A ItemID D9978067
A rare inlaid wood English Trinity House bank

p4A ItemID E8949841
Trinity House work box, the cover inlaid with an American three-masted ship

p4A ItemID E8849803

Trinity House Boxes

Trinity House was the name for the lighthouse service in Great Britain in the 19th century. While on station, the keepers of lighthouses and lightships made exceptional boxes with fancy wood inlays, including marquetry and parquetry, often featuring sloops, lighthouses and other nautical symbols of the period. Sizes typically fall in the 6- to 12-inch range. The keepers sold these boxes directly to the captains of sailing vessels using Trinity House services. Surviving examples are rare, including still banks, storage boxes, valuables boxes and writing boxes.

A similar tradition was followed in the United States, where keepers of the Nantucket lightship made high-quality baskets for their families and/or for sale to island visitors.

Reference note by p4A editorial staff, August 2012.


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