Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Anonymous Gift
The close-grained sycamore wood and clear varnish mark this stamp box as Mauchline ware from Scotland’s Ayrshire region. When Scottish manufacturers of small wooden souvenirs expanded their businesses beyond the local landmarks, they looked to lucrative tourist markets abroad. Riding a tidal wave of increased leisure travel, Mauchline ware was so successful that soon hundreds of engraved images of destinations around the world appeared on wooden knickknacks, exported from Scotland. The U.S. Capitol was an obvious and profitable choice to sell to visitors in Washington, DC.