Regency penwork sycamore chinoiserie sewing box with engraved brass side handles, on brass ball feet containing fully fitted sewing tray and two personalized cards, 5 3/4” x 11” x 9”, circa 1815, $6,967, available at Courtesy of

Inked Fantasy: Fall for the charms of penwork decor

Penwork, a 20th century term for a lavish, linear decorative technique, was popular in England and Scotland from about 1780 to 1850. Its delightful images, which were applied with fine quill pens, imitate costly Indian ivory-work, rich wood veneers, and lacquered Oriental designs found in great country houses. Where penwork designs...