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Bandbox And Lid, Old Rough and Ready

This is a Bandbox and lid. It is dated ca. 1846 and we acquired it in 1913. Its medium is block-printed paper on pasteboard support. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Bandboxes were quite popular during the first half of the 19th century and were used for the storage and transport of men's collar bands, hats, and as general carry-alls. While some bandbox exteriors were covered with wallpaper, most were wrapped with papers made specifically for covering bandboxes. These papers frequently contained landscape, hunt or mythological scenes. During the 1830s-40s many papers were printed with scenes commemorating historic events. They could be rather crudely printed in just a few colors and often show a naiveté found in art.

Many of the scenes printed on bandboxes are copied from existing prints. This design of General Zachary Taylor, Old Rough and Ready, appears to be a compilation of a couple different prints. The image of Taylor sitting sidesaddle on his horse, sword at his side, one arm raised is a nearly identical copy of a sketch drawn during the Battle of Palo Alto. This was the first major battle of the Mexican–American War fought on May 8, 1846. The printed version is shown in reverse indicating a copy of the sketch was traced onto the woodblock. The image of the tents seems to have been inspired by a drawing of Taylor’s troops when encamped at Corpus Christ a year earlier. His victories in the Mexican-American war helped get him elected as the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Taylor earned the nickname “Old Rough and Ready” through his success in the Seminole War, a conflict between various groups of Native Americans and the United States, fought from 1835 to 1842 in Florida.

This object was donated by Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson.

  • Sidewall, Horses
  • screen printed on paper.
  • Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
  • 1952-34-3

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Medal (USA)
  • engraved bronze.
  • Gift of Victor David Brenner.
  • 1906-33-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 26 x 39.7 x 32.7 cm (10 1/4 x 15 5/8 x 12 7/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed on box: Gen'l Taylor Old Rough and Ready

Cite this object as

Bandbox And Lid, Old Rough and Ready; USA; block-printed paper on pasteboard support; H x W x D: 26 x 39.7 x 32.7 cm (10 1/4 x 15 5/8 x 12 7/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson; 1913-45-9-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Bandbox And Lid, Old Rough and Ready |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>