Reprint published in 2007 by Rizzoli International Publications.
This unusual octagonal shaped book, presented in a cloth bound box describes the origin of the sailor's valentines and collecting them, but is mainly an illustrated record of the variety and beauty of the boxes.
A sailor's valentine is a form of shell craft, a type of mostly antique souvenir, or sentimental gift made using large numbers of small seashells. These were originally made between 1830 and 1890, and they were designed to be brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea and given to the sailor's loved one or loved ones. Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8" to 15" in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colons glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centrepiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.
The blue cloth on the presentation box is a bit faded in places and the hinge to the lid is a little wobbly, however the book itself is bright, clean and in excellent condition.