Okay, so Boxing Day is well over a month away, but this week I discovered some absolutely lovely nineteenth century boxes, and I thought you’d want to see them. Why was I looking at nineteenth century boxes (you need a reason to research? Gasp!). You see, the heroine in the book I’m writing hid some very important papers in a box, and then someone stole the box. She thought he was after the papers, but what he really wanted was the box.
Oh, those kinds of questions keep writers up late into the night! It isn’t enough that I need him to steal the box to further the plot. He wants a motivation for stealing it. Why does he care? He’s just the villain’s flunky! But oh, no, he must have a reason for stealing the box. Which set me off searching for a box that would inspire the theft.
What about this one? Mother of pearl trimmed with ivory, lined with blue silk set in accordion pockets. Very useful for storing small diamond pins and earbobs. Ah, but it’s from the late 1800s, and my heroine resides in 1803. And I don’t think my villain cares for such things.
Or perhaps this. Amethyst glass and ormolu (gilded bronze), from France. Could have served as a jewelry box or merely a decoration. Hm, would it not give things away when you could see right through it?
Oh, why not this? A porcelain candy box hand-painted with couples lounging in pastoral splendor, surrounded by guilt, er gilt and lined with lavender silk. Well, at only 3 inches long, that might be too small for my heroine’s purposes.
No, this! It’s French porcelain, from the premiere factory at that time, Sevres, and in their signature cobalt blue. Very romantic scene on the lid, so my very romantic heroine would favor it, and it’s a good 8 inches long so she could stuff in a few mysterious documents without anyone being the wiser. And why does my villain want it? The fact that he can get French porcelain reserved for kings and princes says something about him, don’t you think, particularly when England and France are at war? And France is threatening an invasion along the very shore where his estate is located? Perhaps he dispatched the flunky to retrieve it before anyone noticed it.
Take that, unrepentant flunkies! Thought you had me boxed in, eh?
Now, on to the scene where the heroine’s best friend hides the vicar’s wig.