Rare Antique English Figural Desk Top Compendium by Asprey, London c.1910

An absolute gem, retailed by the creme de la creme of luxury emporiums, "Asprey 166 New Bond Street & 22 Albermarle Street".

This shape of letter box dates to around 1860, a clear Victorian box which is when this compendium would have first been designed. It was retailed by the two most exclusive retailer's Asprey and Thornhill, this one by Asprey as previously mentioned. The design was carried through .. this particular one made around 1910 to celebrate George V coming to the throne.

Made from a combination of brass and bronze, the box is extremely heavy and of course the finest of quality. The labels are made from white and black enamel.

The first little secret is that the top (with enamelled compass) opens to reveal a gilded postage stamp box, in front of this is a little enamelled label "Letters", emulating the slot where letters would be posted.

The entire top then opens to reveal a candle holder, this is sprung just like a student's lamp, the candle would push right down inside the pillar box once the lid was closed. Again all gilded, this is where the retailer's signature can be found. The candle would have been used to melt sealing wax to seal letters.

The way to open into the letter box is to open the base first .. revealing an inkwell within, the glass liner is removable.

The front of the box is enameled with with G R for George Regins and the collection times. This front panel opens to reveal a fitted interior, the inside of the door has a vesta where matches would be stored with a strike to the side.

A little lever is used to move around the interior revealing a glazed panel which is hinged to remove the cards from the inside. One of the cards is printed with letter rates and the others listing the English monarchs through the ages.

A highly desirable object in excellent condition, not over-polished with a good patina and original gilded interior. The footprint measures 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" and stands 6 1/2" tall.

Item ID: 34511

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$5,600 $4,760 USD SALE

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Andrew Puckering, London, UK   

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