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Georgian Satinwood Writing Box

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14 cm (5 1/2")
28 cm (11")
25 cm (9 3/4")
Rare Georgian Tambour top writing box made of magnificent Satinwood with wonderful conch shell inlay framed with a tulipwood crossband and boxwood edging. With brass carry handles and matching, drawer handles to the front.
Once unlocked the lower drawer can be opened. While the drawer opens the roll-top recedes into the top of the box.

The drawer contains several compartments for storing writing supplies and two inkwells. Underneath the roll-top is a removable storage tray and two drawers with turned bone handles.

This writing box comes with a fully working lock and a tasselled key.

Mark Goodger Antiques stock many different styles of Writing Box. The Writing Box symbolises great milestones in social & economic history.

For many centuries, and in many cultures, portable boxes for writing materials had existed. In England, it was not until the late 18th century that a variation in social & economic circumstances made it essential to have the use of a portable desk in the form of a box that could be used on a lap or table. The Writing Box, or Lap Desk, was born!

The first writing boxes symbolised intelligence, knowledge of commerce and the world, with style and fashion being a lesser priority at this time. For around 100 years from the late 1700s, the writing box featured strongly on military expeditions, travels, libraries, and drawing rooms. Famous literature, contracts, letters and postcards were written on it. The Writing Box was a personal possession, unlike the writing desk or table.

In the late 1700s, worldwide travel was not a simple affair. Travellers of all kinds, as well as Military staff, needed compact & strong boxes, which could stand the test of long & arduous journeys. As a result, the Military, or Campaign box was created. The Captain's, or Campaign Writing Box is much more mechanically complex and quite intriguing! These boxes are generally brass-bound, have secret drawers, candlesticks & a screw-down mechanism that comes out the bottom of the box and fixes it to a piece of furniture or ships deck, for security purposes and particularly rough sea voyages. Boxes we come across of this style are rarely the same in terms of the arrangement of secret compartments & drawers, adding to their character. Campaign & Military style Boxes were made and used well into the 19th century. Charles Dickens and Lord Byron were famous users of this type of Box.

In the early to mid-1800s letter writing became a hugely popular pass-time, especially amongst women, particularly society ladies! This can be demonstrated by the smaller, lighter & more decorative styles made during this period. Features of these boxes include: the front cover of the box opens back to reveal a sloping surface for writing. This consists of a flap, under which paper can be stored. At the back is a section for inkwells and pens. Some of the most exquisite boxes date from this period.

The use of Lap Desks remained until late Victorian times when their popularity started to decrease, as they became more mass-produced & of lower quality.

We get great pleasure from acquiring and restoring these wonderful boxes. We often discover compartments that appear to have been untouched and forgotten about over the years. They often need replacement writing surfaces due to their age and continued use. We always try to restore as sympathetically as possible, so to do this we have our own antique leathering & bookbinding tools to restore the box to its formal glory.
All our items come with an authentication certificate with an image, and our latest catalogue, care instructions and separate invoice for insurance purposes. On top of this, our items come with a 14-day no-quibble money-back guarantee and are all fully insured for when shipping.
14 cm (5 1/2")
28 cm (11")
25 cm (9 3/4")
Brass, Glass, Wood
United Kingdom
Gentlemans Collection