Like a real Miss Marples we started our research of the box made by the prisoners of war .
We send pictures of the box to all the museums which have something to do with the Napoleonic war.
So we contacted for example the museum in Peterborough, Norman Cross , the Victoria and Albertmuseum ,Friends of Norman Crosse. Museum in Chatham and Norwich
We received a lot of mails to tell us we were welcome to look in the museums and see for ourselves .
We are even welcome in Paris where the head of the Napoleontic affairs
Professor Peter Hicks liked to point out some important books to us .
We found some great websites on internet from auctions involving similar boxes.
Also we looked for the houses on front of the box .Is it a row of houses?A castle ,a building.?
Then we found the site of an restorator of these boxes in America.
He told us that we had to look on the inside for the wallpaper and for the hinges and lock. .
Well the hinges and lock were easy .They were never on this box.
The wallpaper on the inside could tell more about the date and country.
You learn a lot researching , Did you know that wallpapering started around 1790 ,for hygenic reasons .
For paneling on the walls, there was due to the wars ,not enough wood.
And the technical revolution of that time made it possible to make the paper and print it with machines instead of by hand .
Finding out our wallpaper is not as easy as it sounds.
The very special ones ,you can find on the internet in the museums .But the normal stuff ,with a floral print,is not that easy to find.
Also the patterns are used over many years ,even centuries.
But again there was a wallpapercollector who could help us out and there is even a wallpapermuseum in Holland and from the picture they suggested it could be later redecorated as the paper could be from late 19 th century.
And they both came up with the idea of Belgium or England .Not French or Dutch.But they could not be accurate without seeing the real thing or testing it.
So we will keep you posted .
The pictures of the box did not ring a bell and at the wallpapersociety and they now think the wallpaper could be as early as 1820.
More on the box.
more on straw