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A Very High Quality Brass bound Coromandel Dressing Box circa 1884

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Reference: JB 125

Description: 

A  very high quality  Coromandel Dressing box from the second half of 19th century. 
For further information on the background see The Online Box Book.

It features solid silver  hallmarked silver toped bottles two sprung  jewelry  drawers,  a lift out self reversible mirror, rounded brass edgings and working Bramah lock.

Origin:  London United Kingdom

Circa: 1884

Materials: gilded brass coromandel cut crystal and silver.

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Size: 31.5cm wide by 25 by 20.5 high: 12.4" by 9.8 by 8.07.

Condition: The box has a shellac finish and is overall in very good original condition. one of the bottles is chipped; see below

 

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When closed the box has an austere look of quality. 

The richly colored coromandel is edged with brass which is both protective and decorative.

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The Bramah lock was  secure and allowed for a small key. Both the key and the escutcheon are gilded.

The patented Brahma lock was used on high quality boxes at this time. To engage the key is pushed into the lock. The sprung  levers of the lock are brought to the right positions by grooves cut in the barrel of the key rather than the flag.  This results in a very neat small key. 

 

The lock plate is gilded and marked Brahma London.

 

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The box opens dramatically the cut crystal bottles are on hinged shelves. When fully out the box is double width.

 

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The box has silver toped cut crystal bottles

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Two drawers are opened by pressing the plate at the back. the central button opens one and the plate opens another. The mechanism gives a satisfying clunk.

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The lower drawer is velvet lined. The double line at the front is for rings.

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and the upper is lined with fine leather.

 

The drawers are made of mahogany with a coromandel facing and of dovetail construction.

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The box has sprung stop hinges which are gilded. The gilding avoids tarnish and gives an extra glamour.

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The silver is deeply chased.

 

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There is a monogram made up of interlaced letters engraved on the silver tops. There is an "E", an "A"  and I think a "T" here.

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The Silver is of high quality and all hallmarked  Enlarge Picture

To the very left is the "maker's" mark. The next punch is the "Queen's head". 
The next mark "Lion Passant"  denotes that this is silver of sterling standard. (925)
 The date letter "I" is next,  1884/1885 and finally the "Leopard's head" for London.

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This is the entry  in English Goldsmiths and Their Marks by Sir Charles J. Jackson

 

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Detail: the hall mark on on of the bottles. Often being light bottle tops are not hallmarked. Pieces below a certain weight did not have to be.

 

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The cut steel scissors is marked E. Townley, Birmingham

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The silver handled  tools are hallmarked Birmingham 1904-5, which indicates a slightly later replacement. The marks on the rest of the silver are for London 1884.

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To the very left is the "maker's" mark. The next punch is the "Queen's head". 
The next mark "Lion Passant"  denotes that this is silver of sterling standard. (925)
 The date letter "e" is next,  1904/1905 and finally the "anchor" for Birmingham.

This is the entry  in English Goldsmiths and Their Marks by Sir Charles J. Jackson

 

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Detail of the cut glass

 

The silver top bottles are deeply cut. This box was a sort of traveling statement of self respect. The bottles would hold perfume.  

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Detail: one of the bottles is chipped at one of the corners.

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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