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A Georgian Mahogany Triple Opening brass bound Writing Box circa 181

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Reference:  wb 115

Description:

A Georgian Mahogany Triple Opening brass bound Writing Box circa 1815 with original inkwells and secret drawers.

The box has the original  lock and a working  key.

It also has an upright back with a letter pocket and individual pockets.

The box is in the military style and has countersunk carrying handles made of brass as well as brass corners and straps.

 

A Georgian Mahogany Triple Opening brass bound Writing Box circa 1815  Enlarge Picture

 

Origin: United Kingdom

Circa: 1810

Materials: Mahogany and brass.

Size: 40.5cm by 25.5 cm by 14 cm: 16 inches by 10 inches by 5.5 inches.

Condition: Overall good

 

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The writing tablet is green felt. The upper part of the box provides some privacy if writing with someone facing

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The brass is secured with steel/iron screws. These were clearly  flattened when first put in.  The corner jointing is mitered blind dovetail. The brass would hold this together even if the glue became damp. These boxes were designed to survive very difficult circumstances.  The brass side handles are now countersunk.

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The box is constructed with full blind dovetails. These can be recognized  from the outside, by the join not being to the corner. part of the bead which has been run in, to give a sense of completeness is cross grain.

 

 

Dovetail joints:

The dovetail joint is one of the wonders of woodwork. In the full blind none of the careful work is visible. If the joint is simply mitered it will not survive atmospheric change. A mitered joint is end grain to end grain. The glue soaks in, becomes dry and brittle and falls apart. 

The dovetail joint enables side grain to be glued to side grain. These joints would hold together without glue!

It is the true proof of these dovetail joints made by craftsmen 200 years ago that their joints are as they made them.

This image is courtesy of  Fine Woodworking Techniques 1978 Taunton Press inc. ISBN: 0918804027

You can order the  Fine Woodworking Techniques from Amazon  by clicking one of the links below:

 And from Barnes and Noble with the link below:

 

 

Extract: Choosing and Making the right joints by Tage Frid.

Fine Woodworking Techniques 1978 Taunton Press inc. ISBN: 0918804027

 

 

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  The box has a working lock and replacement key.

 

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 The box has two unmatched period inkwells. The screw top of one is a later restoration.

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The individual pockets  are marked in gold with the days of the week

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There is a nest of three secret drawers concealed by a sprung panel and  hidden under the pen compartments. 

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 Detail of the sprung panel which hides the secret drawers. The panel is released by inserting a rod through a hole concealed by one of the inkwells.

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 The upper part of the box provides some privacy if writing with someone facing.  The upper flap is an early simple form. The reminder pockets which can be seen in the next picture were sometimes on this surface.

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2005 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