I really have a thing for old hatboxes, and I’ve been especially captivated after seeing some of the wonderful old ones in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Antique bandboxes or hatboxes, especially those covered with wallpaper, are hard to come by around here, so I always look at them, even if I know I’ll not be able to afford them.
The one above caught my eye the other day. While it is not one of the lovely scenic boxes, it is an older one, covered with a nice paper. The inside had a beautiful border around the rim.
So what was so objectionable about this pretty box? Was it the price or the condition? No, although there were condition issues, and it wasn’t exactly cheap at $65. The problem with this box was much worst.
The person selling this hatbox put an adhesive price sticker on the lid of the box. I was hoping that it was one of those semi-sticky things that would just pull off, but a quick look at a loosened corner confirmed my fears.
Someone before me had already tried to lift off the sticker, and you can see where the paper of the box was pulled loose. Whatever value the box had has been completely ruined by the person who stood to gain by its sale.
Over the years I’ve seen lots of thoughtless stickers slapped onto paper of all kinds. Usually it is just a nuisance because it is a magazine or a catalog that is still useful despite the sticker. Unfortunately this hatbox is ruined.
We need to make a rule that no stickers are allowed anywhere near antique and vintage paper.