A 19th century sailor's double shell valentine. These glazed octagonal boxes were brought back home by sailors to give to their loved ones when their ships docked on the Caribbean island of Barbados, which was a large and important sea port at the time. These shellworks were created by local people on the island and retailed through Belgrave's Curiosity Shop, owned by two English brothers, Benjamin and George Belgrave, from the mid to late 1900s.
This example is a particularly early one dating to around 1860. There is a good natural patina to the box and contents. Some minor damage/losses to the shells and seeds decoration. A lovely genuine piece, oozing history and folk art charm.