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 inlaid mahogany writing box with side drawer and drop handles and reading stand Circa 1790

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

Reference:  wb144

Description:
WB 144 Mahogany late 18th century writing box the top inlaid with maple inlay depicting a patera and edged with a cross banding in laburnum to the top. The box has drop side handles and a side drawer for papers. Inside there is a leather covered writing surface and further compartments for papers and writing implements. The box also has a riser mechanism to enable it to be used as a reading stand/ lectern.  circa 1790.

Origin: UK 

Circa: 1790.

Size: 51.3 cm by 26.8 cm by 16 cm: 20.2 inches by 10.5 inches by 6.3 inches.

Condition:  good overall, however this box has been used and is an early writing box. There are little repairs. one of the flaps have been re-enforced by having a piece of cloth glued to it.  See images.

 

 WB144: Mahogany late 18th century writing box the top inlaid with maple inlay depicting a patera and edged with a cross banding in laburnum to the top. The box has drop side handles and a side drawer for papers. Inside there is a leather covered writing surface and further compartments for papers and writing implements. The box also has a riser mechanism to enable it to be used as a reading stand/ lectern. circa 1790. Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Detail:  the top is edged with a cross banding in laburnum and light and dark wood lines.

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

Enlarge Picture

The box has a central inlay to the top depicting a stylized patera. The inlay is executed in maple which has been shaded by scorching. This process was often done by dipping the elements in hot sand.

The patera motif in its various forms was an abstraction of a shallow dish used in the classical world for offering libations.

Most writing boxes of this era  were for military use and were either simple or brass inlaid. Decorative inlay is very rare.

 

 

The box also has a riser mechanism to enable it to be used as a reading stand/ lectern.

The drop side handles are a feature of early boxes.

Enlarge Picture

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

 There are compartments for storing pens.

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture
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

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,

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:

 

 

 

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

 The drawer has half blind dovetail joins to the front. The joins at the other end of the drawer are full dovetails.

The bottom of the drawer is lined with blue paper. This is original to the box.

 

The embossed leather writing surface is a modern replacement.

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

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

 

Enlarge Picture

 

 

Enlarge Picture

 

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

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

 

Enlarge Picture

 

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 1999-2008 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