Dressing table set, xylonite; Trinket box: [British Xylonite Company Ltd]; [1910...


North Sydney Heritage Centre, Stanton Library


Dressing table set, xylonite

About this object

Dressing table set, cream xylonite: (1) Trinket box with hinged lid and partition inside to create three compartments; (2) Comb with shaped handle; (3) Fine-tooth comb in foldaway black-edged case; (4) Mirror back with handle, glass missing; (5) Rectangular pin tray with rolled edge; (6) Six-sided jewel box with hinged lid; (7) Powder box with lid; (8) Soap holder with lid; (9) Cylindrical toothbrush holder with lid.

The British Xylonite Company was the first British firm to successfully manufacture a plastic material in commercial quantities. Xylonite, or 'celluloid', was invented by Alexander Parkes and first displayed in 1862 under the name 'Parkesine'. It was initially used for making domestic articles in substitution for wood, horn, ivory or tortoiseshell. The founders of the British Xylonite Company, Levi Parsons Merriam and his son Charles, established in 1875 a small business to make combs, imitation jewellery etc. [Source: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk]


Trinket box: [British Xylonite Company Ltd]

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made


Medium and Materials


Inscription and Marks

Trinket box stamped: 'Made in England'


Box: H 19 mm x W 152 mm x D 89 mm; comb: L 229 mm x W 102 mm (teeth); fine tooth comb: L 95 mm x W 25 mm; mirror: L 114 mm x O 191 mm; pin tray: H 13 mm x L 235 mm x D 178 mm; jewel box: H 44 mm x W 127 mm x D 89 mm; powder box: H 57 mm x O 64 mm + lid: H 25 mm x O 76 mm; soap box: H 25 mm x W 89 mm x D 64 mm; toothbrush holder: L 159 mm x O 32 mm + lid: H 13 mm x O 38 mm

Subject and Association Description

Personal effects


Don Bank Museum collection

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution - Non-commercial (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial (cc)


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