THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
ST AGNES MUSEUM. This mahogany paint box belonged to a successful portrait and history painter, John Opie, who became Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy in 1806, the year when this paint box was presented to him. Opie, a St Agnes carpenter's son, sprang to notice through his friendship with Peter Pindar and the salons of the great houses of Cornwall. He was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.
The paint box has a hinged lid secured with a brass mortice lock with a brass escutcheon. Lined with red felt, the box contains fourteen rectangular glass bottles, hand blown and cork-stoppered, each containing powdered paint and three larger glass stoppered bottles labelled 'Turpentine', 'Varnish' and 'Linseed'. Let into the front of the box is a pin. When removed, this frees a drawer under the bottle compartment which when opened reveals a small glass pestle and mortar and a measuring cylinder. Newlyn School oil paint came in more convenient tubes.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen