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Thursday, 30 May 2013


I buy lots of pieces that are in excellent condition and have an almost unused look but I rarely get something that I actually give the description of "mint" condition. I have just loaded onto the website a writing box that was made near the end of the 19th century and is very deserving  of being described in that way.
Fine Victorian leather writing box

The wood framed box is covered in embossed and gold tooled leather and has a gilded brass military style handle, engraved plate and Bramah type lock with key. The interior is as good if not better than the exterior, fitted with a lift out tray that has two smaller trays sitting in compartments at each end, two original glass ink wells with brass tops and the centre of the tray is lined with water marked blue silk.

The tray lifts out and the compartment revealed underneath is intended for storage and has a matching leather bound folder together with its' original bound paper writing pad, unused.

Inside the lid there sits a leather writing implement holder complete with ivory letter knife, pen knife and propelling pencil plus space for four more pens and pencils. The holder has a gilded brass catch which, when released, allows the holder to fall forward. The inside of the lid is lined with the same blue silk used inside the base and folder, has darker blue ribbon and is used to store envelopes and paper.

The box on the outside back edge has the makers name embossed in gold, "Carlisle & Watts, Edinburgh".  The Company was originally based at 49-51 North Hanover Street and then, at the turn of the century, moved to149 Princess Street, Edinburgh.

In comparison to how excellent the condition of the writing box is, its' original fleece lined leather carrying case has protected the writing box to its own detriment - it is marked and half of the leather fastening strap is missing. I think the box packed inside its case must have been left up on a shelf somewhere in a house for years, forgotten by all and the outter case has, as a consequence, dried out and the leather straps perished.


Graham Smith Antiques has been established for 14 years but Graham has been in the antiques business for 40 years. We trade on line and from showrooms on the edge of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and all the items shown on the website are available to view at the showrooms where they are displayed in four room settings - for ease of viewing. As long time members of LAPADA [the Association of Art and Antiques Dealers], the UK's largest trade association for professional art and antiques dealers, we want all our customers to be confident to buy from us on line or in person and make every effort to make each sale a pleasure. Please take some time to read our Testimonials page which can be found on the home page of our website.

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