Published: December 6, 2011
Agents from the Boston field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are trying to recover a rare antique tortoiseshell and silver box that was stolen from a private US residence in August 2011.
The Seventeenth Century Dutch tortoiseshell box features a barrel-shaped top, silver fittings, hinges and handles on its sides, as well as ball and claw feet. The piece exhibits a warm brown tortoiseshell veneer, sterling silver fittings and red velvet lining. Deemed to be of museum quality with original silver key inside, the box has a silver lock plate decorated with standing lions on either side. The back hinges and lock plates are surrounded by scrolled etchings in silver. It measures 7 inches high by 4¾‵ inches wide by 8¾ inches deep.
The stolen box can be identified by the following unique features: vertical cracks in the tortoiseshell veneer on the domed box top; similar vertical cracks on the back of the domed box top and around the lower body; evidence of repair to a water damage spot on the upper right of the domed box top; and three nails holding one leg in place.
This item has been reported to the FBI and is listed on the Art Loss Register (ALR) database of stolen artwork. The ALR is working in conjunction with the theft victim and authorities in seeking information on the current location of this rare and valuable piece.
Anyone who believes to have seen this item or has any information on its location can contact the FBI’s Boston field office at 617-742-5533.
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