Shaker Herb Label "Make-do" Box, Mount Lebanon, New York, mid-19th century, the roughly circular cardboard form covered with labels, (water damage), ht. 8 1/2, dia. 12 in.
Gather Up the Fragments, p. 191.
An excellent example of the accidental preservation of Shaker printing is this pasted-up box covered entirely in broadsides advertising Sarsaparilla, Phthisis Eradicating Syrup, and Vegetable Pulmonary Pills. The contents of the box, when it was found by the Andrewses, included a sister's net cap and shoe, a section of peg-rail, palm leaf bonnet braiding, a duster handle, and spool. Boxes such as this are wonderful instances of the Shakers' eminent practicality in reusing materials.
The frugality of the anonymous brother or sister who made this item insured the chance survival of these seemingly unrecorded broadsides. Few such boxes are known, though noted scholar and collector M. Stephen Miller acquired one that yielded very early examples of Shaker hymn printing. While one would hate to think of this box being deconstructed, it is true that a paper conservator might carefully exhume even more treasures from this object than currently meet the eye.
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