Parlour Artifact

Parlour Artifact No. 2 – Pewter Trinket Box

This pewter trinket box, made from durable pewter, is presented as the second parlour artifact in the recurring series of parlour artifacts.


Positioned on three round feet, this delicate circular container easily fits inside a palm of the hand.


Most importantly, an unfinished line “Here is Your” indicates it is a personal message to the recipient, which makes this pewter trinket box a perfect gift in the Victorian era. Such personalization adds genuineness to this parlour artifact.

Embossed whiplash swirls adorn this parlour artifact in two rows, the top one close to the rim, and the bottom one close to the feet.


At the first sight, this pewter trinket box appears scantily ornate and not as unique. For people in the Victorian era, it was all about quantity. A bare room was thought to show a lack of taste, so Victorian interiors looked cluttered. Therefore, a pewter trinket box dedicated to store precious contents, perhaps jewelry, justifies the status symbol of this parlour artifact.




At the first sight, this pewter trinket box appears scantily ornate and not as unique.

A zoomed photograph, combined with sunlight, brings forth the best qualities of this parlour artifact.

Embossed whiplash swirls complement the fine details of the pewter metal.


This tarnish-resistant metal is an alloy of tin or lead containing fractions of other metals such as antimony, copper, or bismuth.

For instance, some type of pewter alloy, known as britannia (white) metal, is a preferred metal in the industry to work with due to its smooth argent surface.



Pewter is a metal that has been in use for centuries to manufacture everything from practical tableware to fine jewelry trinket boxes.

It is one of the oldest metalworking industries in the world that originated in the Bronze Age, about three to four thousand years ago.

The demand in decorative pewter returned during the art nouveau movement at the dawn of the twentieth century, the time to which this parlour artifact dates.

Meriden Britannia Company

The logo engraved on the bottom of the pewter box parlour artifact reads “Made and Guaranteed by Meriden B Company.” In the year 1852 several small britannia ware plants of Meriden, Connecticut, United States, merged into the Meriden Britannia Company. Meriden Britannia Company took its name from britannia metal. In essence, the company produced silver-plated household goods, both elaborate and practical.

Industrialization enabled rapid economic growth which contributed to Meriden’s period of great prosperity. As a result, the company had establishments in the United States of America, Canada, and England. Meriden Britannia Company was renowned internationally in the 1870s as the largest company of its type in the world.

Nearly half a century later, in 1898, a new silver making corporation emerged – the International Silver Company. Numerous silver production companies formed the International Silver Company, Meriden Britannia Company being one of them. Notably, this amalgamation strengthened the position of all banded companies as a single entity. The knowledge from former companies continued to be in use by the International Silver Company as a token of trademark and high standards into the 1930s. The International Silver Company had proven to be the best of its kind in silver making across the United States. Markedly, the satisfactory service made Meriden to be known as “The Silver City.”

Parlour Artifact Series

Follow this link to learn more about another parlour artifact – Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Playing Cards.

Further Readings