From Georgian and through Victorian times, wood boxes and caddies appeared everywhere in the traditional English country or town house. They were made to take care of every type of manufactured or hand-made small household article. Some of the more popular forms included work boxes, tea caddies and stationary boxes. Good houses would not be complete without these pieces that were both functional and decorative. Writing slopes were used much like the portable laptops of today; they were used as small desks at home and when traveling.
This elegant Victorian piece certainly has pizzazz for a writing slope. The spectacular grain of the burr walnut goes handsomely with the wide brass staves and brass corner brackets. Inside is a hinged, angled writing surface fitted with gilded and embossed leather and a fitted interior for pens and ink bottles. There also is a secret drawer that reveals itself when the interior lid top is opened by moving two brass levers. In addition, this writing box has a working lock and key. It dates to about 1860.
There are two decorative brass inlays; one on the top of the box and the other seen as an escutcheon around the keyhole. They decoratively match the brass corner brackets and two large brass staves. All this brass makes for a fairly weighty box.
The burr walnut has aged to a deep and warm color. It has a beautiful glowing patina.
This piece is in excellent condition inside and out. It appears as if the last owner of this exquisite writing slope had it polished and waxed.
It measures 13-3/4 inches wide, 9-1/2 inches deep and 6 inches high.
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