The Clove Box

The mystery box made of cloves is solved. A lady has come to the rescue with the answer.

Mallaca is the 3rd smallest Malaysian state after Perlis and Penang. It is by the straits of Mallaca in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula and is one of the Spice Islands. The little box made of cloves, which I mentioned in my last blog, is almost certainly from this area.

In the 19th century it was popular to make boats out of cloves too. I have seen a picture of one of these. The workmanship is amazing. Apparently the Science Museum has a heart shaped clove box. Cloves were thought to protect from disease and the smell, especially when filled with cloves, must have covered up many an unpleasant odour. My box still smells very strongly. We still use Oil of Cloves for toothache today so perhaps cloves have some natural anaesthetic properties too. I think my box must be from the 19th century but these items are very difficult to date, as they have obviously been made for many many years, and still can be bought today.

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