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Found this at a yard sale recently and it was just too unique to pass up for near nothing. There is definitely wood involved, but most areas on the outside surface are very smooth. Fro appearance at first I thought ivory, but I am not certain. The hinges and clasps are great. It doe look like the felt inside was added to it. There is no glue visible and the holes and decor is pretty damn symmetrical. Just don't know where this may have come from.
It has Hebrew writing on it, meaning, probably from Israel/(Palestine)...it almost looks like antlers of some sort. Some kind of keepsake box. Very pretty.
Yes, that makes sense especially for the area. Nice.
not Hebrew just a design
I would tend to agree that it is not Hebrew.
A great many of these boxes can be located online being sold on eBay, Etsy and well, just everywhere. I've seen these even being sold in some furniture stores, nick nack shops and weekend market stalls in most towns I've been to here in Australia.
Here is a link to etsy which more clearly shows this same repeating pattern. If it is a language, it seems to be a repeating word, or two, however, the same pattern can be found on boxes referred to as jewellery/prayer boxes sold as being Afghanistan, Indian, Asian, Jerusalem or Polynesian made. Also, there are variations in substance stating cattle bone, camel bone or carved horn.
Either, one of these combinations is the correct one, and all others are being sold with incorrect information or there really is a wide variety of people making the same styled box out of various substances local to them. If the latter is true, then there must have been an original influence for the popular design.
Seeing the example you gave from Etsy, I see that it is not Hebrew, but a repetitive design. When I saw the design on Ralph's pictures, I could make out what appeared to me to be a few Hebrew letters, but it was not at all clear to me what it could have said. My mistake.
Yes, it does find similarity to the general appearance of some Hebrew writing.
We are not professionals here, only people who have an interest in antiques/oddities and perhaps enjoy a good puzzle. Sometimes we can help because we know for certain, other times, an educated guess and at other times we have to resort to a stab in the dark.
Molly I went to Hebrew school and can read and write Hebrew and so ........
So did I! I lived in Israel, as well. Shalom, Paula.
Peace to you also and a Happy new year ( a bit late hunny )
Not Hebrew. Just a design. What letters are they? Resh, peh, taf? That doesn't even make a word.