The World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago in 1893. Thousands of souvenirs were produced to sell to visitors. These included many different stamp boxes and cases. The website of the American Philatelic Society carries an excellent article about these items which may be downloaded from here. The many fine illustrations include two Mauchline Ware stamp boxes. However, it does not include the one we illustrate above. It just shows: there’s always more to be discovered.
Most European countries produced stamp boxes at one time or another. Sweden is no exception but they do not turn up in any great numbers, in the UK at least. Our picture shows the hinged lid of a simple wooden box with two sloped compartments. The basic box is similar to a common Mauchline Ware type. The Swedish one is decorated all over in pokerwork and has a small circular image inset under glass in the lid. Fortunately, identification of the image is made easy by the inscription to the back of the box: “Minne från Hälsingborg 1919” which may be translated as “Memento of Helsingborg 1919”; Helsingborg being the modern spelling of one of Sweden’s oldest cities. The grand building is the town hall built in 1897 and the equestrian statue is of Count Magnus Stenbock (1664 –1717) a military officer and statesman. This little tale illustrates one of the joys of collecting: there is so much to be learned from what we collect if we bother to do a little research.