The Flower Jewel-case: 1893

Faux-rose jewel box https://www.amazon.com/Noble-Blossom-Ceremony-Proposal-Engagement/dp/B0831SXS1Z

A PRECIOUS FLOWER.

The Danger of Fashion’s Latest Fad for Jewel Cases.

Every one has heard of Lucretia Borgia, the lady who when she wanted to destroy a hated rival was in the habit of sending a rose “with Lucretia’s compliments.” The unsuspecting victim, pleased by the attention, generally sniffed the poisoned flower, and was a corpse before having time to realize the situation.

Nowadays, every one who receives a flower with so-and-so’s compliments is herewith warned to take it up tenderly and treat it with care. It is not by that meant to imply that secret poisoning is stalking abroad, but there may be more in the gift than appears at first sight.

If the flower on examination proves to be an artificial one, so cunningly made, that it almost deceives you into thinking that, like Topsy, it “growed,” be warned in time, and examine it very carefully. Press the petals of the rose. They will very probably fly asunder and reveal a diamond ring or a pair of eardrops reposing on a tiny cushion of white velvet.

It is one of fashion’s latest fads to conceal small but valuable pieces of jewelry in artificial flowers or bunches of flowers, but the practice is a dangerous one where the recipient does not know the trick. Imagine your despair if you threw away a flower and learned afterward that it had contained a diamond!

The mechanical flowers themselves are expensive luxuries, for the cheapest costs $5. Jewelers, however, will give them away with very valuable rings

The San Francisco [CA] Call 17 August 1893: p. 10

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Mrs Daffodil was disappointed that she could not find an illustration of this novel jewel casket. The best she could do was a faux-rose box from the “eBay” auction site. Not at all the same thing….

They must have been pretty trinkets. An 1879 groom gave something similar to his bride:

At a recent wedding the bride was the recipient of a novel gift from the groom—a “jewel box” made of Marechal Niel rose-buds, bound by a rim of tea rose buds, with a ring of violets for lid-lifter, lined with white satin, within which nestled two diamond ear drops.

Pittsburgh [PA] Post-Gazette 15 February 1879: p. 4

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

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