Shadow Box Mounted with Miniature Carved Bone Tools and Household Implements, William Gilman (1848-1911), Boston, third quarter 19th century, the fabric-lined wall case mounted with twenty-seven working model carved bone tools and implements including saws, wrenches, axes, files, knives, garden forks, hearth tools, a pocket knife, ram figure, three-piece flatware set, crucifix, padlock, and scissors; the bottom mounted with a miniature cart, drop-leaf table, wheelbarrow, bench, and a wagon, the side of the box mounted with an exhibition permit space label for the "Massachusetts, Charitable Mechanics Association," dated September 20, 1878, "To William Gilman/For Exhibit of Bone Carving"; also including three printed exhibition or trade card fragments reading: "Working Models Carved From Bone By William Gilman 1801 Washington St., Boston," accompanied by seven carved bone items: a sled, knife, screwdriver, small wheel, two shaped trefoils, and an ivory castor set, shadow box ht. 16 3/4, wd. 21 3/4, dp. 5 3/4; loose items dia. 7/8-5 1/8 in.
Provenance: William Gilman is the great-great uncle of the consignor. According to family history and a photocopy of his 1911 death notice from a probable Putnam Connecticut newspaper, William Gilman was born in Rutland, Vermont, in 1848, and had a wheelwright shop in Thompson, Vermont. He moved his shop to Putnam, Connecticut, which later fell victim to fire. He later had a shop in Pomfret, Connecticut, married a woman named Mary Carroll, and had four children. At some point they moved to Massachusetts, as William died in 1911 in South Boston. His wife and children all resided in Boston at the time of his death.