Bespoke antique boxes

I was about to post another story on the blog when this ‘jewel’ caught my eye. The front page was instantly put on hold and the blog cogs screeched to a halt. It was obvious that Emily Gore’s new bespoke jewellery box company Woodbury and Co  should be the front page story.

Sustainable interior decorating

The story resonates greatly. Firstly because Emily’s aesthetic of restoring and enhancing vintage and antique boxes neatly dovetailed with my thoughts on Sustainable Interior Decorating. And secondly, because there is one blog reader in particular who is going to absolutely love Emily’s work.

Antique box business in the 1970s

Whilst post Mid Century design in the 1950s and 60s had segued into 1970s Scandi chic and teak, Jenny only had eyes for antique and was cleverly rescuing and renovating mahogany Georgian and Victorian boxes for sale.

Jenny is the very stylish mother of my primary school friend Nikki who in 1969 built with her husband Ernest, an upside down ‘Grand Designs’ modernist style house. The house was decorated with shag pile carpets, William Morris and Liberty prints as well as with a carefully curated selection of antiques. It is testimony to how good design stands the test of time as the house is as cool now as it was then.

History of the antique box

The history and function of antique boxes ranged from portable writing boxes where stationery was stored and sometimes with an integral writing slope to highly prized Georgian tea caddies of the 18th Century to vanity and jewellery boxes.  

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Photo: Woodbury and Co

After the 1980s, the interest in these antique boxes seemed to decline in popularity again, probably along with the fashion for English Country House style.  

Woodbury and Co jewellery box on Charis White Interiors blog
Commissioned for a 30th birthday, the embroidery motifs are all of special significance to the family including favourite flower, children’s and partners names and special dates. This box also has a hidden compartment behind the mirror for photographs. Photo: Woodbury and Co.

Creating modern beautiful heirlooms to be treasured

It is really wonderful that Emily has now rediscovered them and is so skilfully giving new life to treasures from the past at her seaside studio in Devon. Emily uses new fabrics and embroidery to personalise luxury boxes for clients and with her skills as a trained jewellery designer, she is able to execute some exquisitely fine, heirloom pieces.  

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Emily’s view outside her studio in Devon. Photo: Woodbury & Co.

Bespoke is king in interior design

Particularly in the world of social media when looks and ideas can be copied like wildfire, creating something bespoke for a client can determine how positively they will feel about their home. Put together the elements of antique and the lovingly handmade, and you have something very special indeed.

Box lined with vintage silk scarf and embroidered with significant initials. Photo: Woodbury and Co
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Photo: Woodbury and Co
Tower of antique boxes in different woods with mother of pearl escutcheon key hole covers, and inlaid marquetry. Photo: Woodbury and Co
Dark wood antique box lined with complementary dark floral fabric with butterflies. Photo: Woodbury and Co

Antique blog rewind

Previous antique posts you might also like to read:

Thank you 

Thank you so much for reading about Woodbury and Co’s beautiful antique boxes. If you would like to receive email alerts for future posts then please just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post. With many thanks, Charis x

Charis White, Interior stylist/writer. Photography:
Charis White, Interior stylist/writer


5 thoughts on “Bespoke antique boxes

  1. Lovely, and what a surprise that you remembered my boxes. My then partner, Audrey, is still dealing most successfully in them but we concentrated more on keeping them as original as possible. However I think the fabrics and embroidery are stunning and it’s lovely to personalise them the way she does. Love to you Charis, Jenny


    1. Your work with them made a big impression on me when I was a child, as they differed so much in terms of style, wood and design. As you say, Emily is doing a lovely job of personalising them. Love to you too Jenny, Charis x


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