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Antique brass bound solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction in typical late 18th century style c1800

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Description:
Ref: WB528 http://www.hygra.com/uk/n11/WB528 

Small brass bound solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction. Inside the box retains its original green baize sloping writing surface  with compartments for storing papers beneath. The box is smaller than usual. Perhaps it is designed for conducting a private intimate correspondence. The box has drop down carrying handles on the two sides; these are the early form of handle. There is a side drawer which pulls out when a retaining brass pin is taken out . 

Origin: UK ;  Circa: 1800; Materials: mahogany, brass.

Size: 30 cm wide by 22.5  cm by 14.5 cm:  11.8 inches wide by  8.9  inches by 5.7  inches.

Condition: good overall; working lock and key; see images.

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It is interesting to compare this box with some other writing boxes of the same period.

Antique Solid mahogany writing box in typical late 18th century style c1790.

Hygra: Antique 18th Century (Jane Austen type) Solid Mahogany Writing Box with Side Drawer Circa 1790.

Antique late 18th century inlaid mahogany writing box with an unusual secret compartment

Hygra: Brass bound Solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction circa 1790

Jane Austen and Her Writing Box

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Inside there is a framed green baize writing surface. There are compartments for papers and writing implements.

 

The box also has a side drawer.

The brass straps are part of the structure. They hold the full blind dovetail joints together. They are held in place with steel screws which are ground flat with the surface of the brass.

The box is smaller than usual for this type of box. It would have been ideal for conducting a personal perhaps intimate correspondence.

There is a side drawer which pulls out when a brass pin is pulled out when the box is in the open position.

 

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A corner which reveals the construction.

The carpentry is clear. This is a double blind sometimes called a "full blind" dovetail joint.

The joint is visually very different to a simple miter. A miter joint which glues end grain wood to end grain wood is much weaker and would not have survived the rigors of travel or 200 years.

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.

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:

 

  

 

 

The drawer is made from oak and as the box is of dovetail construction:

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The box has a replacement screw top inkwell.

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There are storage places for papers under the flaps.

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The box has a working lock and key.

 

The flaps are constructed from a central piece flanked by two sides. The tongue and groove joint increases the gluing area. The wood is quarter sawn for dimensional stability in changing humidity.

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

 

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The brass straps are part of the structure. They hold the full blind dovetail joints together. They are held in place with steel screws which are ground flat with the surface of the brass.

 

The box has drop down carrying handles on the two sides; these are the early form of handle. 

The side handles are external and not countersunk as in later boxes.

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

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2011 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