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Souvenir box, with view of Edinburgh National Gallery & Castle

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probably made in Mauchline, Ayrshire

Souvenir box, with view of Edinburgh National Gallery & Castle
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This varnished wooden souvenir box was probably produced by the firm of W & A Smith in Mauchline in Ayrshire. It is transfer-printed with a view of Edinburgh National Gallery and Castle and dates from the late 19th century.

The padded lid is covered with green velvet to act as a pin cushion.

The firm of W & A Smith is said to have started in the early 1820s. Initially they made snuff boxes and razor strops (straps for sharpening razors). By 1841 they were selling tartan souvenir wares and in 1850 they published their 'Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland'. From around 1860 to 1930 they produced vast quantities of souvenirs including boxes, table and desk accessories, and sewing items. The souvenirs were transfer-printed with views of British towns and cities, seaside resorts and exhibitions. Similar items, decorated appropriately, were produced for export to Europe, India, Australia and North America. The factory remained in business until a fire in 1933.

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