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Antique Figured Rosewood writing box with mother of pearl inlay Circa 1830

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Description:
Ref: WB616 http://www.hygra.com/uk/n11/WB616

Antique fine quality figured rosewood writing box with rounded solid edges, inlaid to the top and front with fine inlays of mother of pearl and white metal depicting stylized curved foliage.  The box opens to a leather writing surface. The fine gold embossed tooling is original. The central part of the leather has been replaced. The cross banding in tulip wood contrasts interestingly with the darker rosewood facings of the box.
There are compartments for storing writing accessories, ink and pens. Beneath the writing surface there are compartments for storing papers. One of the flaps has a second lock. Beneath the accessory compartments there are three secret drawers concealed behind a sprung panel

Origin: UK;  Circa: 1830; Materials: .

Size: 40.8 cm wide by 26.6 cm by 17.3 cm:   16.6  inches wide by 10.47  inches by  6.8  inches.

Condition: good overall; working locks and keys; see images; the central part pf the leather writing surface is a later replacement.

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The box opens to a leather writing surface. The fine gold embossed tooling is original. The central part of the leather has been replaced.  The cross banding in tulip wood contrasts  interestingly with the darker rosewood facings of the box.

There are compartments for storing writing accessories, ink and pens. Beneath the writing surface there are compartments for storing papers. 

 

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The box has a curved pen tray. There is is a working lock  to the flap. the facings to the  flap  are a cross banding of tulip wood.

The central part of the writing surface has been replaced with a new piece of leather. The gold embossed surround is original.

 

The box comes with two keys . the larger is for the main lock; the smaller for the flap.

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The box retains two original inkwells with silver- plated tops.  there has been some corrosion. to the metal.

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The embossed gold tooling is original the leather in the centre has been replaced.

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The box has three secret drawers with ebony pulls concealed behind a sprung panel.
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The panel is released  taking out the curved pen tray and pressing on the side of the division. There is a rod connecting the division to the catch.

The mechanism is hidden underneath a sloping piece of wood. 
There is an example of the mechanism  in another earlier box at: Hygra: Antique military style brass bound solid mahogany writing box of dovetail construction Circa 1810

 

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The drawers are made from mahogany with rosewood facings. They have turned ebony pulls.
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The flaps are constructed with tongue and groove joints. At this date some makers finished the inside of their boxes with a thin French polish.
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There are places for storing papers under the flaps.

 

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There is a rounded filet of solid rosewood let into  all the edges. This adds to the manufacturing time considerably  and is an indication of the high quality of build.

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The rosewood has throughout got a good figure which contrasts with the iridescence of the mother of pearl inlay.

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There are flat countersunk folding brass handles on the sides of the box, a feature popular in the early part of the 19th century.

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Detail of the mother of pear inlay. the fretting has been cut by hand with a fine piercing saw. Details such as the petals are achieved by fine saw cuts in the rosewood. This is an example of fine quality work and was time consuming to achieve.

 

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The green  baize on the bottom is worn but is original.

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