Pewter Stamp Boxes

A group of similar but different items often makes an interesting part of a collection. One collector has sent us this photograph of a nice group of USA pewter stamp boxes. Each has a hinged lid depicting a USA stamp and he has found an example of each of the stamps to accompany the corresponding box. They are modern and none has a maker’s mark. So here are questions for our readers: does anyone know who makes (made) these? Does anyone have a full list of the boxes made (so far) or, failing that, we would be glad to hear of other examples not in our photograph. All responses to will be published here anonymously.

Swedish Stamp Box


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.

Dog’s Head Stamp Box

DogHeadExamples of this cold painted bronze dog’s  head stamp box turn up fairly regularly at auction. They generally seem to sell quite well, and why not – they are attractive, well-made boxes. One in a recent auction was described as “Bergmann style”; a description we have not noted before.
“Franz Xavier Bergman (1861-1936) is, arguably, the most famous of the Viennese cold-painted bronze artists …” (millersantiquesguide). The factory closed in 1930 due to the great depression but was later reopened by Robert Bergmann, son of Franz, and operated until his death in 1954 (Wikipedia).  The name is sometimes spelled with one “n”, sometimes two.
An internet search for images of Bergman bronzes will produce hundreds of results which will demonstrate that Bergman-style is a fair description of this box. Now here’s the thing: none of the dog head boxes have been noted as having a Bergman mark and they only seem to have started appearing on the market about five years ago. So, who made them; are they quite modern?