Elaborately decorated and exquisitely constructed, this sewing box was decorated by John Ritto Penniman (1782/83-1841) and is attributed to Thomas Seymour (1771-1848). Besides a recently discovered pier table, discussed in Robert Mussey and Christopher Shelton's American Furniture 2010 article, this lady's workbox is the only other example of furniture signed by Penniman. Initialed JRP in light green paint under the seashell, the paintwork is signed, much like a fine art painting and speaks of its aritst's talents and, perhaps, of his aspirations. Unlike other examples that display factory-like precision of leaves replicated by Penniman or his many apprentices within the Seymour workshop, this box's painterly sensibility demonstrates the master's skill. The precise construction of the box, use of mahogany as the secondary wood, and similarities of primary woods as well as the seashell and seaweed painted decorations relates closely to the Elizabeth Derby West (1762-1814) commode at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (fig. 1). As proposed by Mussey and Shelton, these details suggest that like the commode, this box was also made in the Seymour Shop, possibly in the same year. A receipt for the 1809 commode lists Thomas Seymour as cabinetmaker and includes John Penniman's fees for his delicate paint decoration (Robert D. Mussey and Christopher Shelton, "John Penniman and the Ornamental Painting Tradition in Federal-Era Boston" American Furniture 2010 Luke Beckerdite, ed. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2010), pp. 2-27; Robert D. Mussey, The Furniture Masterworks of John & Thomas Seymour (Salem, Massachusetts, 2003), no. 56, pp. 246-247). A similar work box attributed to John and Thomas Seymour is illustrated in Israel Sack, Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack, Inc., vol. IV, P3628.