My Josephine Was Delicate

by Chantal

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

I actually made this box before the funeral card one but have only just got round to posting it. It’s a lovely little wooden box, painted black with I think a decoupage design on the lid, and purple velvet on the base. I found it in an antique shop in Arundel (very cheap because of how worn it is) but have no idea of how old it is. The joints are lovely inside the box which I’m guessing suggests some age (things used to be made so beautifully) but if any one has any knowledge on these things and could tell me anything about it by looking at the picture I would be delighted!

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

The main focus for the piece is a Victorian photograph (carte-de-visite) which the design on the back suggests probably dated from the early 1880’s (although these cards were produced between 1859-1908). It is a portrait of an attractive and I think intriguing looking young woman. I have spent a long time looking at this picture wondering about the woman and what the story of her life has been. I like the fact that this will always remain a mystery to me. I wonder was this photograph done for her family? For a man? Was the photo treasured by its owner afterwards. She undoubtedly wore her best clothes and prepared herself to be all that she could be for this moment to be captured. I love picturing her at her dressing table fixing her hair, examining her face, possibly feeling a little nervous.

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

I decided to hinge the lid of the box as I felt it gave a better sensation of “entering in” and inviting proximity. There are multiple layers of glass within the box with suggestions of fragility. The fragility can be seen to be regarding the woman, memories, time, or life itself.

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008

My Josephine was Delicate - 2008