These lovely little luxuries are ring boxes from the Muse Collection by Charlotte Moss at London's Halcyon Days. For your dressing table, vanity or evening bag, they are "descended from the rare and beautiful enamels of 18th-century England. Prized by discerning collectors worldwide, both as tokens of taste and sentiment and as works of art, they are destined to become the antiques of the future."
Says the designer of her collection, which includes atomizers, handbag mirrors and tiny vanity trays, "I have bought these wonderful enamels as gifts, and received them as gifts, for years. It is a great pleasure and opportunity to be entrusted with creating designs for today. Once again I’ve chosen to invoke the muse - images and motifs from the lives of women who continue to inspire - myself and others."
I received as a gift this Christmas my own tiny, shiny box. It is not fancy enamel nor is it covered in pretty patterns. It is plain, coral pink and heart-shaped. It is from the not so exclusive, one on every corner, Hallmark collection. And it is currently my most prized, sentimental and inspiring possession.
It came from my daughter and contains a photo she took of us (with the camera in her laptop) on Thanksgiving Day 2009. That's her, below, squeezing the life and love out of me. And though this box was a gift, it came at a very large price. Letting her go last year to live her own life was more difficult than anything I have done with or for or because of her in the last nineteen years of my life. But it was worth it.
I have proof in a priceless pink box.
"Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world."
Cesare Pavese, Italian poet, critic and novelist, 1908-1950
Thanks to Rosemary and her dentist's fancy magazines for the top image. It is quite a luxury to have a friend who thinks about you while waiting to get her teeth cleaned. Images and descriptions of Moss's Paris, Nantucket and New York boxes are from Halcyon Days' website. And to Katey, well, you know.