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Antique fine Brass inlaid rosewood box with liftout tray and drawer Circa 1820

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Reference: JB508

Description:
JB508: A very fine brass edged and inlaid  figured rosewood box ,  working Bramah lock, and having the Amorial crest for Fraser. The foliated borders are exceptionally well designed and executed with looping stems arranged in a mirror image fashion. The two sides of the pattern are separated by a palmette motif. The palmette is repeated as the central motif on the sides of the front of the box. The corners are inlaid with squared leaf designs. The severity of the lines, the arrangement of the design and the palmettes, are rooted in the neoclassical tradition. 
The box has a compartmentalized leather and velvet lined interior with liftout tray. There is a hidden compartment with an unusual  secret release mechanism. The box also also has a drawer  fitted for jewelry which is secured shut by both a  brass pin and a lock. Circa 1820.

Origin:

Circa: 1820

Size: 40.8 cm wide by 28.1 cm by 18.5 cm: 16 inches wide by 11 inches by  7.3 inches.

Condition: good over all see images.

 

JB508: A very fine brass edged and inlaid  figured rosewood box ,  working Bramah lock, and having the Amorial crest for Fraser. The foliated borders are exceptionally well designed and executed with looping stems arranged in a mirror image fashion. The two sides of the pattern are separated by a palmette motif. The palmette is repeated as the central motif on the sides of the front of the box. The corners are inlaid with squared leaf designs. The severity of the lines, the arrangement of the design and the palmettes, are rooted in the neoclassical tradition.  The box has a compartmentalized leather and velvet lined interior with liftout tray. There is a hidden compartment with an unusual  secret release mechanism. The box also also has a drawer  fitted for jewelry which is secured shut by both a  brass pin and a lock. Circa 1820. Enlarge Picture

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There is engraved brass plate center of the top. It has  the crest for Fraser " A bucks head erased gu." and the motto "JE SUIS PRIEST": which translates as "I am ready".

At the date of the box The Frasers were a family of renown. Capt. J Fraser, 7th Hussars,  was one of the Aides-de-Camp  at Waterloo (1815).

 

The corners are inlaid with squared leaf designs. The severity of the lines, the arrangement of the design and the palmettes, are rooted in the neoclassical tradition.  

"Bullock's designs influenced other cabinet makers and commissioning clients well into the 1840s. His brass inlay designs were stylized, forcefully assertive and totally controlled. In this, they adhered to the spirit of neoclassicism. However, Bullock abandoned the motifs of the ancients, in favor of floral and foliage patterns, reminiscent of British plants. His inlays were in the form of continuous repetitive patterns and scrolls, rather than the more severe separate ornaments. He injected an element of romanticism, within the "antique" tradition and the result was a style close to the French work, but still remaining distinctive.

"By the second decade of the 19th century, brass design on boxes became more naturalistic and was applied in the form of foliate and floral scrolls as borders, or as stylized compositions on the whole surface. As the fashion became more popular, some of the work lost its earlier vigor and precision. The patterns became larger and less well controlled. One clever innovation was a running pattern, reminiscent of a Vitruvian scroll, which although not as difficult to execute as the more complex floral motifs, was very effective, especially against rosewood and rich mahogany on large writing boxes."

 See: Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880 
Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly,
ISBN: 0764316885

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The drawer is held closed by both a brass pin and its own lock. It is lined with silk and fitted for jewelry. One of the spaces is shaped to hold two thimbles. There is a closeup of this below

 

The box has a compartmentalized leather and velvet lined interior with liftout tray. 

There is a hidden compartment with an unusual  secret release mechanism. The secret compartment is beneath the pin cushion. 

 

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To access the secret compartment. first remove the pin cushion.

The holding catch is released by pressing on the central screw of the middle hinge.

The screw is connected to the catch. When pressed the sprung panel comes out.

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 The secret compartment 

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The brass pin which holds the drawer closed is ideal for pressing the screw.

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 There is a document wallet in the lid. 

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The box has two keys. The main lock is a Bramah The lock of the drawer is a lever lock.

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 There are brass inlays let into the facings at the corners. The marks on the facing seem to indicate that the box has been su

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2010 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com