I was intrigued by these stylish watercolor boxes ever since I saw for the first time a few years ago on the website of a paint manufacturer. Later that day after doing some research I found out that these boxes were manufactures by large English paint companies like Winsor and Newton, Daler Rowney and Reeves, Brands that of course still exist to this day.
The boxes were multifunctional and relativily easy to be caried around (the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood often took them on their painting trips). The big blocks of colors were similar to what we have today, minus the plastic cap that accompanies it of course.
Most of these boxes had drawers to keep additional stuff such as pencils, brushes and typical porcelain palettes. after a painting session the lid could be locked with a key. (The listings on Ebay with lower prices have often lost their key).