Dressing Cases and Vanity Boxes were made to carry personal and toiletry items during travel for genteel ladies and gentlemen and were popular from the end of 18th Century to the last quarter of the 19th Century. During the first part of this period most Dressing Cases were made for men. These were used for going to war, education or when socialising. From the beginning of the 19th Century cases for ladies became more common as did their capacity to travel, for long visits to relatives or friends.
The boxes would contain perfume bottles, mirrors, brushes, combs, manicure sets and sometimes items for writing and concealed jewellery trays. The popularity declined for men during the Victorian era because men were expected to be more masculine, and ladies to be soft and pretty! Towards the end of the 19th Century Dressing Boxes became popular with all ladies, not just the more affluent.