Levittown, PA, site chosen by Malvina Reynolds in 1963 to illustrate the post-war tract housing that inspired "Little Boxes on the Hillside".


"Little Boxes on the Hillside"


is a song written by Malvina Reynolds in 1963, made quite famous in the 1960s by her friend Pete Seeger

It was inspired by the post-war rows of houses in Daly City, California, that all looked alike -

as in the image above of Levittown, Pennsylvania.  This image was chosen, as by the time

Newsweek (or maybe Time) magazine wanted a picture of the Daly City scene inspiring the song,

there were too many tract houses for Ms. Reynolds to find the exact place. 

"Ticky-tacky" referred to the shoddy construction materials used - the term becoming a catchphrase during the '60's. 

Pete Seeger took "Little Boxes" to #70 on  Billboard Hot 100. 



The original version began like this :


Little boxes on the hillside

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

Little Boxes

Little boxes

Little boxes all the same

There's a green one and a pink one

And a blue one and a yellow one

And they're all made out of ticky tacky

And they all look just the same.


Here is our version :


Little boxes on a tabletop

Little boxes that are nicky nacky

Little boxes

Little boxes

Little boxes none the same

There are silver ones and a blue one

And some brown ones and a yellow one

And they're all slightly wicky wacky

And none are just the same!




But there are ... SILVER ONES


Early 18th Century Engraved Silver Snuff Box

England, Unmarked, c1720-1725

The lift-off cover engraved with 6 dancing figures

Early 18th Century Engraved Silver & Agate Snuff Box,

c1720-30, Unmarked



Victorian Silver Sampson-Mordan Vinaigrette & Scent

Flask, George III Gilt Token, 1872 



George IV Silver Walnut-Form Vinaigrette

Birmingham, 1825-26 / Regent's head visible, maker's mark scratched



Early Victorian Silver Melon-Form Nutmeg Grater

John Taylor & John Perry, Birmingham, 1844

Engraved to the cover : E.L. Porter. From G.W.H and Aug't 27th 1835



George III Silver Nutmeg Grater

Samuel Pemberton, Birmingham, 1800

George III Silver Nutmeg Grater

Thomas Willmore, Birmingham, 1800



George II Silver Toilet Box & Cover

Charles Kandler, London, 1727

Jacobite Interest

The domed cover applied with scroll-leaf capitals surrounding a baroque cartouche
engraved coat of arms of Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, 1686-1777







Continental Faience Tin-Glazed Bonbonniere
Pseudo Delft Marks, 19th century
Modeled as a head of a pug, the features and coat picked out in underglaze blue;
and gilt-metal mounts and oval cover, the interior with an underglaze blue mark :

conjoined initials PAK in the Delft (De Grieksche) manner
2.5" Wide






George I / II Silver-Mounted Piqué Posé Tortoiseshell Snuff Box

England, c1725-35

The oval box two small "stand-away" hinges, the tortoiseshell cover having engraved piqué posé inlay

depicting a seated flute player before a garden wall, serenading a shepherdess.

An almost identical example is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, NYC





Delightful Carved Coquilla Nut Figural Snuff Box
France, c1790

Carved Crowned Hunchback Fruitwood Snuffbox

Late 18th Century



George III Large Fruitwood Pear Form Tea Caddy

England, c1790-1810, of large size, retaining original key

George III Large Fruitwood Apple Form Tea Caddy

England, c1790-1810, of large size


George III Portrait-Mounted Tobacco or Snuff Box

c1790, the officer's uniform with one epaulet


Early 18th Century 'Britannia Standard Silver', Tortoiseshell,

& Mother of Pearl Tobacco Box

Thomas Roberts, London, c1705-1730




George III / IV Silver-Mounted "Lettered Olive Shell" & Tortoiseshell Snuff Box,
Late 18th / Early 19th Century, Probably Scotland





George III Brass Tobacco Box & Pipe Carrier
England c1790, depicting a Beadle, with three compartments


...aLL slightly WICKY WACKY 


Two South Staffordshire Enamel on Copper Scent Flasks
With Original Cut Glass Stoppered Scent Bottles
Provenance : Manheim NYC





"Little Boxes" was aired on NBC on That Was The Week That Was, April 13, 1964, by Nancy Ames.

It has been recorded by more than 20 artists, in English, French and Spanish -

including Billy Bob Thornton, as seen on Weeds, Season 3, Episode 5 (airing on youtube).


Time magazine quoted a university professor as saying,

"I've been lecturing my classes about middle-class conformity for a whole semester. 

Here's a song that says it all in 1-1/2 minutes".


However, Tom Lehrer described this song as the "most sanctimonious song ever written".


In 2012, a re-worded version of "Little Boxes", written by Sniffy Dog,

was used in a UK TV commercial for mobile telephone operator O2.




  And may all your boxes be...

 ...none the same !



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Millicent Ford Creech


901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)



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"Little Boxes, Little Boxes, Little Boxes on the Hillside", M. Ford Creech Antiques