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Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
by ANTIGONE
Writing Boxes
Writing Boxes
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A Very Fine, Important, and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London.
A  very fine brass bound triple opening writing box with secret drawers , made by one of the most eminent  makers of the Regency period.

The box is marked "Bayley's 17. Cockspur St. " See below.

Rosewood crossbanded with ebony inlaid with separate brass elements having "lucky" quatrefoil centers. 

The quality screams. 

Dimensions: 14" wide 9" deep 5"high (closed).

 

The pictures can be super-sized by clicking on them.

A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily01.jpg (65878 bytes)
A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily02.jpg (77437 bytes)

Detail: The brass edging is fixed with brass pins. The ornate brass inlay is in separate pieces and inlaid into a ebony cross banding.

 This sets off the wonderful distinctive figure of the rosewood 

The pinning of the brass edging is visible. 

The quatrefoil was said to attract luck. Above it is a trefoil for even more luck! 

Countersunk brass carrying handles

Inside the box is a feast for the eyes, retaining  all its fine original gold embossed leather work.  

A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily03.jpg (107673 bytes)
A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily05.jpg (75039 bytes)

The exceptional leatherwork is all original. 

Even the little pen and ink compartments have a leather lining. To see this it may be necessary to enlarge. Click on the image to enlarge. 

Note also the steel screws holding the hinges. 

 

Close up showing the finely tooled leather.

A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily10.jpg (146444 bytes)
A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily06.jpg (91810 bytes)

The leather writing tablet which is elaborately tooled and gilded. As can be seen there is some staining from ink.  

The box has an unmatched pair of period inkwells.

The ink staining is a mark that this box was used and is part of the history. The quality is superb. 

                         Behind the panel are secret compartments and drawers. 
wbbaily07.jpg (86758 bytes)

The sprung  panel concealing the secret drawers  is released by pulling on one of the divisions next to the inkwell.

The box has two rosewood faced secret drawers. 

The inside of the paper compartments is finished without any varnish or polish. 

This is consistent with the period. It was only later in the century  that a finish was added. 

The box has a document wallet in the upper part.

The maker Bayley has signed the box on the central label. 

A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily08.jpg (70548 bytes)
 
A Very Fine  Important and extremely Rare Brass inlaid  Rosewood Writing Box Circa 1810 by Bayley's of London. wbbaily09.jpg (97079 bytes)

The box is marked "Bayley's 17. Cockspur St. 

Bayley, Blew & Chapman, who described themselves as "dressing case makers and Perfumers to His Majesty and HRH Duke of York," are recorded in the accounts of George IV as having supplied in 1828, a rosewood writing desk edged with brass and a buhl border, patent lock, and flaps covered with green velvet; interior glass mounted with silver. 15 12s.  The price for this box is very high indeed, at least five times what could be expected for a normal quality box and reflects the appreciation of the intricate brass work. 

See page 274,  Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies and Society 1700-1880. by Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly ISBN: 0764316885

For the historical context of this writing box read the relevant part of Antigone's Online Antique Box Book. If you click here you will go there.

We have written a highly  illustrated book on Antique Boxes and Tea caddies  which is being  published by  Schiffer Books USA.  This box has been photographed for future inclusion.

  © 2004 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly