A rectangular shaped union case for holding early photographs. Ninth 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, cross, design on both sides with the engravers name to the right of the bottom 'v': KEY. Frederick C. Key made 56 dies for the Scovill Manufacturing Company in 1860. The case contains a red coloured, velvet lined cushion on the left, providing protection to the glass on the right, with 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.