Tonbridge was a spa town from the 17th century onwards. Various local trades and craftsmen profited from the influx of wealthy visitors by selling "toys" and trinkets crafted from local woods. The market concentrated in the Pantiles, an attractive wooded area in Tonbridge paved in the late 17th century on the instruction of the Princess Anne, wife of the Prince of Denmark. Dutch tiles baked in shallow pans were used to pave the walkways hence the name. Similar cottage industries prospered in other spa towns, such as Cheltenham and on the near continent in Belgium, and Germany. However the locally painted sycamore and birch wares such as the present sewing necessaire are unique to this area of the South East of England, and pre-date the more famously known mosaic-inlaid parquetry wares which flourished three of four decades later. Architectural models were particularly desirable and tea caddies and work boxes in the form of cottages particularly prized. The present model is very rare and takes its influence from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton with its onion dome roofs.