Coromandel and Silver Vanity Box
dated London, 1870
Absolutely stunning Victorian vanity box dating from 1870. The outer of the box is made of the finest quality Coromandel Wood - a very expensive and beautiful wood only used on the best items. The top is domed; both very unusual and very beautiful for a box like this. It has a brass engraved plaque on the top and a matching escutcheon around the key hole.
Inside, the box is fully fitted with 10 glass bottles and pots, all with matching engraved sterling silver lids. The silver is hallmarked for London 1870 with the maker's mark of William Neale. The glass bottles all have star cut bases and the three scent bottles even have their original glass toppers below the silver lids. There is a blue velvet lift out tray in the centre which holds a set of accoutrements including a button hook and corkscrew, all with matching mother of pearl handles. The main interior of the box lifts out to reveal further storage space beneath to sore items such as brushes or combs.
The lid of the box houses a mirror. It is backed in beautiful blue velvet and there is a catch in the lid which releases the mirror so it can be turned around to display the velvet when not in use. Behind the mirror is a letter compartment for storing important documents. There is also the original retailer's label ; "Mansfield's Manufactory & Fancy Repository. 90 Grafton St. Dublin".
At the back of the box, between the hinges, is a small button which releases a drawer in the bottom of the box. Lined in satin and velvet, it is used for storing jewellery and there is a section for rings and also a watch.
Every aspect of the box sings of quality. No expense was spared in the making of this box and the detail and the craftsmen ship is just superb. Little details really make this box stand out - the hinges and the lock are silver and beautifully engraved to match the box, the mirror is edged in gold coloured detailing and the letter rack is beautifully detailed to match the box as well.
It is in excellent condition for its age and is certainly one of the nicest and most original examples I have seen. It has been used but it has been treasured and very well looked after. Being almost 150 years old it is not without a few small faults which I will detail for peace of mind. There is a very small chip on the base of the box at the back where a small piece of wood is missing. It has been coloured and is hardly noticeable but worth pointing out (see photo). The lid of one of the glass bottles is slightly bent over and looks to have possibly been dropped to cause this. It has not damaged the thread or the bottle itself and still displays well (see photo). The section of the interior which lifts out would have originally had two small loop handles which have at some point been removed. The tray still lifts out, however you just need to remove the glass pots to get a grip on it. There is a tiny little mark on the lid of the box where it has suffered a small knock at some point in its life - it is difficult to spot and doesn't detract from the box in any way but worth just pointing out although I am really nit-picking now!
All the glass bottles are in good condition with no breaks and chips. The box comes with its original key which is in working order. The box has been lightly cleaned and the silver bottles polished and the whole thing displays beautifully.
Height : 7" (18cm)
Width : 12" (30cm)
Depth : 9" (23cm)
This truly is a stunning piece that anybody would be lucky to own. The best description comes from the photos so please look at them all carefully and if you have any questions or would like more details please get in touch.