Antique Boxes at the Sign of the Hygra
         2 Middleton Road, London, E8 4BL, UK.
         PHONE: 00 44 (0)20 7254 7074
News | Buyingemail Online History of boxes | The Schiffer Book

Writing box index

 thumbnail index of writing boxes

History of writing boxes

Request current  list of available writing boxes.

Online History of boxes

 

 

Antique Late 18th Century brass bound writing box Circa 1790.

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Reference:  wb143

Description:
Brass bound  Solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction in the military style with drop side handles and side drawer for papers. Inside there is a sloping leather writing surface (mid Victorian replacement). There are further compartments for papers and writing implements. There is a nest of secret drawers hidden behind a panel. The box also has an adjustable riser enabling it to be used as a reading stand 1790
Origin: UK

Circa: 1790

Size: 50.1cm by 25.2cm by 16.6cm: 19.7 inches by 9.9 inches by 6.5 inches.

Condition: The box is in good condition overall but shows clear signs of use.  There are some cracks to the wood in the top which have been reinforced with a sheet of mahogany veneer. The working lock and key, the leather writing surface and one of the carrying handles are Victorian replacements. See images.

 

Brass bound Solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction in the military style with drop side handles and side drawer for papers. Inside there is a sloping leather writing surface (mid Victorian replacement). There are further compartments for papers and writing implements. There is a nest of secret drawers hidden behind a panel. The box also has an adjustable riser enabling it to be used as a reading stand 1790 Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Enlarge Picture

Percy Melville Thornton as he was pictured by Spy in Vanity fair.

 

The plate in the center of the top is engraved Percy Melville Thornton and also has his crest.

Percy Melville Thornton  (1841-1918) was a polatation MP for Clapham, cricketer  and writer. There is a photograph of him at a lunch  party for English Aviators taken 1909 in the National Portrait Gallery.

Cricinfo give the following biography:

 Though never prominent as a cricket  player Mr. Percy Thornton was all through his life a prominent and most popular figure in the cricket world. 

He was closely associated with Middlesex Cricket Club, being for some years honorary secretary to the club. He excelled far more at athletics than at cricket, being a good half-mile runner in the early days of athletics. He sat for many years as M.P. for Clapham. Cousin of Mr. C. T. Thornton.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

He was secretary of Middlesex from 1870 to 1898 and Hon. Secretary of the Cambridge University Athletic Club when he helped found the inter-university sports in 1864. He was MP for Clapham from 1892 to 1910.

 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

The box is constructed with full-blind dovetail joints. The brass is fixed with iron screws which have their heads ground down level with the brass. The result is a strong and stable box which has survived well the harsh environments it has had to encounter,

 

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

Fine Woodworking Techniques 1978 Taunton Press inc. ISBN: 0918804027

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:

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:

 

 

 

Detail of side carrying handle

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture
Detail showing the adjustable prop used when the box is in the reading stand position.

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

 

 

Enlarge Picture

 

 The box retains its mid Victorian replacement writing surface

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show   | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture
 The leather writing box is a mid Victorian replacement It is decorated with a Greek key pattern in gold embossing and a  palmette in blind.

 

Enlarge Picture

There is a side drawer which is released by pulling the brass rod upwards.

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show   | thumbnail index |

Detail showing the hand cut dovetails and the handle. 
Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 The inside of the top has been reinforced with a sheet of mahogany veneer.

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

The lock is a mid Victorian replacement

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show   | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 The are two original brass topped inkwells with screw tops.

 

Enlarge Picture
 Under the flaps there are compartments for storing papers. There are secret drawers concealed behind the panel 

 

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

The secret drawers are reveled by pressing the side of the box 

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture
 The secret drawers are constructed with dovetails

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

A

Please click on images to enlarge

Request current  list of available writing boxes.

News | Buyingemail Online History of boxes | The Schiffer Book

 

All text and images and linked images are 1999-2007 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