Fine Leather Bound Stationary Box w/ Bramah Lock, England c. 1872
A VERY FINE LEATHER BOUND STATIONARY WRITING BOX
Lock inscribed Bramah, London, inkwell inscribed Berry’s Patent, plate inscribed MARC, March 25 1872
Item # 806PHI26
An unusually fine writing box from the third quarter of the 19th century, this stationary box is exquisitely crafted using top-grain black leather and high quality custom brass hardware throughout. The quality is self-evident and this box would have been a very expensive acquisition during the period. It is unmarked, but was likely made in collaboration with Bramah; though they specialized in the manufacture and retailing of “unbreakable” locks, they offered an extensive catalog of exceptional writing and stationary accessories with their locks. This box opens first to reveal three white alabaster writing tablets surrounded by leather, providing a hard surface for writing note cards while giving access to the pen tray, inkwell and match box for sealing the envelopes. The upper portion of the box remains upright to allow access to the fitted storage slots, within which letters and supplies can easily be organized. Tiny brass tabs release the lower compartment lid and a small leather swatch allows access to the upper compartment. The lock is stamped BRAMAH LONDON - these are fascinating locks and there is a wealth of interesting information about the firm and their inventions, as well as displays of their storefront preserved in the Science Museum of London (which includes their “challenge padlock”). The inkwell is a work of art - the tiny brass handle on it and the match box are simply gorgeous in light of their miniature size; a small brass button on the front of each allows the lid to pop open when depressed.
This is an exceptional selection for anyone passionate about these very fine stationary boxes. They remain relevant and interesting in today’s home, perhaps even more so as the need to store bill and card writing supplies has shrunk in light of technology - much of today’s desk can be reduced to a well-fitted stationary box.
Measurements: 14 1/2” W x 10 3/4” D x 6 1/8” H, 21” D when opened
One alabaster writing tablet cracked (glued back together, but cracks remain visible). Match box leather worn and must be opened with care. No key. Abrasions and loss to leather here and there.