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A C19th mauchline ware sycamore snuff box with a monochrome transfer image on the lid of a  bathing machine, and the words' Poor Smith cant find his machine'. The box has an intergral hinge. It still retains some of its original foil lining.

It measures 6cm w x 4cm d x 1.3cm h.

Scottish Souvenir Wood ware is known as Mauchline Ware because the vast majority of these small wooden items bearing pictures designed to appeal to 19th Century tourists were made in the Ayrshire town of Mauchline. The industry flourished in Scotland for 160 years and during that period hundreds of thousands of high quality wood ware souvenirs were despatched to all parts of the British Isles, Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


This snuff box features the bathing machine, and interesting subject in its own right. At its peak of popularity, the purpose of the bathing machine was mainly for women to change on the beach away from prying eyes.  Men and women were segregated on the beach. The wooden carts with two doors on either sides allowed bathers to change out of their clothes and into their bathing suits without having to be seen by the opposite sex. The four-wheeled box would be rolled out to sea, usually by horse or sometimes human power and hauled back in when the beachgoer signalled to the driver by raising a small flag attached to the roof.. By 1901 the segregation on beaches of women and men was abolished and this signalled the downturn in the need for bathing machines.


Antique Scottish Snuff Box - featuring the bathing machine

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