The smoothing plane was the last tool a cabinet maker would use on a flat surface to get it ready for finishing. The coffin shape in wood bodied planes was the most common shape for smoothers in the 18th and most of the 19th Centuries. This plane likely dates to the mid-1800's.
This example is made of solid boxwood which was prized for its weight, straight grain, dimensional stability and beautiful buttery color. The early boxwood was harvested from the trunks of old hedge rows and it was difficult to get pieces of any great diameter. This made boxwood expensive and it was used in sparing amounts, primarily for high wear areas in molding planes. Plane makers would save the larger pieces of boxwood for high end, special order tools such as this plane. It is as beautiful to look at as it is pleasurable to use.
The sole measures 7 3/8" long by 2 3/4" at its widest point. The blade width is 2 1/8". The plane is not marked by the maker but does carry the user mark, J. Moir. Both the iron and cap iron are marked "W.P. Ward." There is abundant life in the iron, it just needs a good sharpening.
The condition is near mint with little signs of use. This was likely one of Mr. Moir's prized tools and used only on very special projects.
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