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Exceptional Regency Rosewood Triple Opening Writing Box  with Tompson lock  Circa 1825

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Description:
Ref: WB604 http://www.hygra.com/uk/n11/WB604 

Brass edged triple opening writing box veneered with rosewood on a mahogany carcass, opening to a a compartmentalized interior with soaping embossed Morocco leather writing surface, with places for storing papers beneath.  The lid has a document wallet. The dark blue leather finely embossed in gold with pockets marked with the days of the week. There is a nest of three secret drawers hidden behind a sprung panel.  There is a rare further secret drawer. The box has a working patent Tompson double action lock with key.

Origin: UK;  Circa: 1825; Materials: Rosewood mahogany leather.

Size: 48.5 cm wide by 26.7 cm by 17.5 cm:  19.1 inches wide by 10.5  inches by 6.9  inches.

Condition: good overall; working lock and key; see images; there are  marks and small cracks in  very very dark part of the front. 

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The escutcheon is gilded brass and reads Tompson Patent see below.

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http://www.dwarner.com/data/BHAM_T.HTM 

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The top part shown open with the dark blue leather finely embossed in gold with pockets marked with the days of the week.

Side view showing the form, the counter sunk side handles, the inkwells, and the pen tray.

 

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Detail of the fine gold embossed top flap. This folds down and has a document pouch behind.

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Detail of the fine gold embossed top flap. This folds down and has a document pouch behind.

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There is a leather document wallet in the lid.

 

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There is an unusual secret drawer under one of the inkwells. It is accessed by sliding one of the divisions.

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The drawer in situe. It is of of mitered mahogany the front faced with rosewood. It has a turned ebony pull.  

 

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The blind and gold embossed leather writing surface is original. 

 

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There are compartments for storing papers beneath the writing surface.

 

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The box retains two ground glass inkwells with screw- mechanism to help avoid leaking.
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The main secret drawer panel is released  by inserting a rod through a small hole hidden beneath the inkwell.

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This releases a sprung brass catch. When pressed the panel concealing the drawers springs open. 

 

The drawers are of mitered construction with rosewood facings and small ebony pulls.

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Side view showing the form, the counter sunk side handles, the inkwells, and the pen tray.

 

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Front

 

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Rosewood is an open grain wood with small pores filled with a tarry oily substance it is oily. The cabinet maker uses a solvent  to remove the oils so that the glue will stick.  The polisher has to fill the grain.

 

Woodwork and brass work are so precise: pinned brass is in the same place as when this box was made in the Regency

the two brass lines are mitered.. 

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I think the cloth on the bottom is  original.   The purpose of this cloth is to avoid the box scratching  the furniture its on.

Finishes changed at this time. 

This was the time of waxes with a little shellac.                                                                                                           

 

The lock plate is stamped with a P within an oval and "PATENT" twice.  the patent refers to Thomson.  

The Tompson patent box lock :

The special quality of the Tompson lock is  is the way the tennon is retracted into  into the lock and enable a flat surface when the lock is open.  This made the lock ideal for writing boxes.

Thompson relied on levers which were called tumbrels at the time to give security. 

 

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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