An octogonal shaped union case for holding early photographs. Sixth plate in size, the body of the case is made of compression moulded shellac (secretions of the lac beetle) with wood powder filler. It has an intricate, moulded geometric design on both sides. It was manufactured by Samuel Peck & Co, c. 1853-1857. It contains a large oval foil mat on the right, and a purple coloured, velvet lined cushion on the left, providing protection to the glass (missing in this example), two embedded brass hinges and an integrated spring clasp. Union cases were used to carry light-sensitive early photographs like ambrotypes or daguerreotypes to prevent them from fading and over 1000 different designs are known to exist.