+44 (0)1993 811332 | info@atheritage.co.uk

Coromandel Writing Box by W. C. Fuller - circa 1850 United Kingdom

Width 16.00inch [40.64cm]
Height 5.50inch [13.97cm]
Depth 9.75inch [cm]
Medium Wood, Brass, Mother of Pearl
Description Magnificent coromandel Writing Slope by W.C. Fuller, London. Inlaid and engraved in mother of pearl, abalone and brass with three exotic warriors on horseback with shields & spears to the top, the front of the box depicting their overnight camp.

Opening this magnificent writing slope reveals a burgundy gold-tooled leather writing surface which has simple silver stringing around the edges with mother of pearl dots & kite shaped decoration. The writing box has a pen tray to the centre, two lidded compartments, a fabulous pair of ebony turned lidded inkwells with carved mother of pearl insets and stationery dividers to the front. Under the smaller writing surface is a small green maker’s label which reads: FULLER, W. C. (Late Batley):1835-39, Manufacturer 13 Brownlow Str. Holborn London.

This antique writing slope comes with a fully working lock & 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 which 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 in 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 which comes out the bottom of the box and fixes it to a piece of furniture or ships deck, for security purposes but for particularly rough sea voyages. Boxes we come across of this style are rarely the same in terms of 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 - in particular, 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 & book binding tools to restore the box to its formal glory.

Shipping Cost:
United Kingdom £25
Europe £85
US £130
Rest of World £180

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gbp 3250.00 (Pound Sterling)
Stock Code dibs
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Antiques at Heritage, 6 Market Place, Woodstock, Oxon, OX20 1TA | +44 (0)1993 811332 | info@atheritage.co.uk