Quality 19th Century Military Campaign Camphor Wood Roll Top Writing Slope
This is a rare example of a beautiful antique colonial Camphor wood brass bound military roll top writing box, circa 1850, in excellent condition.
• Item Roll Top Writing Box
• Circa 1850
• Wood Camphor Wood
• Period Victorian
• Provenance India / Singapore
• Brass bound box
• Brass inset side carrying handles
• Ebonized string inlay
• Large drawer below box
• Sliding roll-top section
• Fold out hinged writing slope
• Internal pop-up cabinet
• Multiple pigeon holes & cupboard
• Working locks and keys
• Original camphor “straight edge” ruler
• Secret compartment
• Central locking cupboard
• Dovetail construction
• Original polish & patination
• Excellent condition
This is a rare example of a beautiful antique colonial Camphor wood brass bound military roll top writing box, circa 1850, in excellent condition. The box boasts a brass binding to the corner edges, a central brass plaque to the fall, flush brass inset carrying handles to the sides, with one smaller brass inset handle to the front lower drawer. The lower drawer features a working lock and key. The fall and the front of the box incorporates ebonised string inlay. There is a stunning grain configuration and colour to the wood on the fall and front of the writing box.
As the lower drawer is pulled open, this activates the roll top mechanism at the top of the box to slide back to reveal a pop-up cabinet. Opening the front fall reveals a sloping writing station which has been lined with a new writing surface. The interior features the original camphor “straight edge” circular wooden ruler (used for writing) along with a variety of inkwells and a central pen tray. A secret compartment can be accessed by lifting up the top edge of the baize. Lifting the cabinet upwards, until the wooden spring levers either side lock it into place, locks the pop-up section to reveal a central cupboard and drawer (with a working locking & key) flanked by miniature concertina sliding doors. When the concertina doors are opened, it reveals a host of pigeonholes. Pressing the side levers inwards lowers the pop-up section.
Such a writing box would have been used in the British colonies, either on land or sea. The fact that it is constructed of camphor wood suggests its origin is Indian and most likely commissioned for a high-ranking British Officer who would have used this box during the period of the Raj. All quality colonial artefacts were usually constructed of camphor wood.
This box is a truly classic example from the Victorian period in colonial India or the Eastern colonies such as Singapore or Hong Kong. The level of detail and craftsmanship displayed is second to none. It is rare to see an example, which is in excellent condition.
The box features a mellow camphor wood colour. As it boasts the original polish, it has a fantastic colour and patination this can only be achieved through age and years of care and cleaning it has received. This truly is a very beautiful item with quality construction. It is rare to see one in such good condition.
Height = 23cm or 9 1/2”
Width = 52.9cm or 20⅞” or 1ft 8⅞”
Depth = 42.8cm or 16⅞” or 1ft 4⅞”