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Rare and Unique Carved, “Prison Art” Box

Signed and inscribed on verso, “Made by J. Bruno In E.P.G. Caldwell NJ D.C. 14, 1914.
Carved pine.
Fine condition with some wear and loss to original varnish finish. Essex County Penitentiary (E.C.P.) was constructed in 1872 in Caldwell, New Jersey. It was considered one of the most over-crowded, horrific prisons in the country.
Most likely made by J. Bruno while he was serving time in prison, it appears he created this keepsake box for a loved one, having carved figures, hearts, and architectural motifs. The lid opens to a compartment above a secret drawer faced with mirror panels. The whimsical carving of the figures and motifs are endearingly unique.

Dimensions: 9 ½” h., 14” w., 10” d.

Item ID: FA-SO 133

Price: $12500

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