Artwork of the Day – Patch Box


Liverpool artwork of the day – Thursday September 27 2007. Patch box, South Staffordshire, c1790 Enamel on copper. In the International Slavery Museum

Patch box with abolitionist motif ‘AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER’.

From the ‘Legacies’ section of the International Slavery Museum.

Patch-boxes held fake beauty spots. A woman would stick one of these on her face to make herself more attractive. They were also often used to cover scars and blemishes caused by diseases like smallpox. The box was called a patch-box because the beauty spots were used to ‘patch’ the scars on the skin.