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Patch Box

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.




Artist unknown (American, 18th century)
Probably Newport, Rhode Island

About this artwork

Patch boxes were popular accessories for both men and women in the eighteenth century. They were used to hold artificial beauty marks, or patches, which were applied to the face, sometimes over blemishes or smallpox scars. These patches were commonly made out of black paper, velvet, or silk that could be cut into a variety of shapes and designs. Placing patches on specific areas of the face held different meanings. For instance, one placed at the corner of the eye was supposed to evoke passion.


On View, Gallery 166


Arts of the Americas


Artist unknown


Patch Box


Newport (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1710–1730




Bottom faintly scratched with symbols and with partially obliterated Roman letters: "MN"


2 × 5.1 × 7.6 cm (7/16 × 2 × 3 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Warren L. Batts

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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