For some reason, probably to free up space, some years ago, I decided to throw away all the jewellery boxes I had and move my jewellery into one large jewellery box. I regret it now, of course. There is nothing nicer than seeing a piece of jewellery in its original box.

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Blue leather case with velvet interior (for brooch) – Charles Packer & Co

In particular, I like to find antique jewellery in its original box as you can learn so much from it, even if it is tattered, scratched or worn.  The box may have the name and address of the jeweller which can help you date an item. Jewellers change names, as partners come and go, or they change addresses and it is easy to track online when these events happened.  For instance, the blue box above came from Charles Packer & Co at 76 and 78, Regent Street, London. From 1880 until 1917, the business traded as Charles Packer & Co and then as Charles Packer & Co Ltd until about 1932. So a piece of jewellery in a fitted box from Charles Packer & Co was probably made between 1880 and 1917.

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Brown leather case with light blue velvet interior (for necklace and pendant) – Antique 18k pendant and chain in original box (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

Whether the box is made of leather, has gold markings, or has velvet or satin interiors tells so much about the piece of jewellery and the customers the piece was intended for. Fine quality boxes indicate that the item is intended for a select clientele and not, say, for passing tourists.


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Black leather case with dark green velvet and satin interior (for stick pin) (At Shop 5A Camberwell Antique Centre)

Some fitted boxes have not survived or been kept by owners. Those for necklaces and pendants seem to be particularly hard to find, probably because of the size. But it is possible to still find original boxes for stick pins, brooches, earrings and bracelets. Even without their contents, these boxes are beautiful and can be quite valuable.