From Civil War Daguerreotype to Figments Studio Gift Box

Inside Daguerreotype Case

Wandering through antique shops and antique malls is one of my favorite things to do.  For me, it’s relaxing, nostalgic and visually stimulating.  I often discover something unexpected that is inspiring or that gives me a new idea.

That’s why, when I was working on the design for my Figments Studio gift box, I went to an antique mall in Seattle’s Pioneer Square to see what might turn up.  After a bit of searching, I spotted something I was vaguely familiar with, but had never looked at very closely  – Civil War era photo cases. Photographic technology was in its infancy during the early to mid-1800’s, and a number of different processes were invented for taking photos (i.e. daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes).  The photographs that resulted are beautiful and haunting.  Because the technology was new, these photographs were very expensive and rare so they were treated as family heirlooms.  As a result, the design of the cases used to protect these images became an art form in itself.  And, it was these decorative cases that caught my eye in the antique mall that day.  They had beautiful and delicate embossed leatherwork and fine hinges and clasps.  They were dark, ornate and worn.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them! I purchased three that day, but one in particular stood out.  The embossing had an interesting frame of curves and corners around an urn of flowers, and a border of swirling scrolls.  This was IT!!! The inspiration for my gift box design! 

I had high resolution photographs made of the front, back and sides of the case.  I then worked with my graphic designer to pick out font styles and colors that would integrate well with the original design of the case…and Voila! The Figments Studio Gift Box! I’m so happy with the way it turned out and customers seem to like it too.  Best of all, I include a free gift box with every purchase!  Take a look at the images below and let me know what you think. 

Daguerreotype Case Cover Design

Figments Studio Gift Box Inspired by Daguerreotype Case


4 Responses to “From Civil War Daguerreotype to Figments Studio Gift Box”

  1. I love this piece! And I think it is a beautiful addition to your existing work. When will it be available to purchase?

  2. Ahhhhh, sorry, I completely misunderstood! I thought you created a vintage inspired photo holder and it arrived in one of your beautiful gift boxes. I have two of your gorgeous journals and treasure both them and the lovely boxes they arrived in. Cheers and best wishes!

  3. Thank you so much!! Cheers to you!

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