By the mid eighteenth century, facial hair fell dramatically from favour as the face of the polite gentleman was increasingly clean-shaven. The arrival of the newly-invented cast steel enabled razor-makers to produce ever sharper (and indeed blemish-free) blades, rendering shaving more comfortable, and razors more durable and capable of re-sharpening. Shaving the face evinced neatness and elegance, and notionally separated the gentleman from the unkempt yokel whilst shaving the head prepared it for the wearing of a wig – an expression of gentlemanliness, masculinity and taste. At the time this shaving mirror was crafted there was also a boom in the world of shaving related cosmetics as many perfumers and chemists began to manufacture soaps and creams specifically designed to aid in the shaving process. Published in 1833, The Young Man’s Guide offered advice for men coming of age on various facets of life and recommended the use of cold, not hot water, for shaving.
Campaign-style furniture goes by many names, such as “military furniture” and “traveling furniture.” But its most curious name is “patent furniture.” It gets this name because many pieces fold up or transform into another form, and the designs were many times patented. The most famous example of patent furniture is the chair that converts to library steps. This box was more than likely used by a military man, designed to be packed away and carried on the march.
A very sweet little box with a super colour and wonderfully evocative plate.