Category: Other Travel Items
One of 2 rosewood boxes, which although not a pair and owned by different people, are no doubt from the same workshop. They are made from mahogany blocks veneered with rosewood. Both have silvered name plates to the top, one engraved T.M. with a heraldic crest and the other engraved CJM suggesting that the owners were relations to each other. The interiors to each differ from the other but both show an intricacy and detail that we have not seen on such boxes before. The number of tiny compartments or boxes below or within others is outstanding. Some of the remaining bottles and tools fit so tightly to their space that the box has to be turned upside down to remove them. Naturally some tools are missing and it might be folly to try and replace them but a number remain. Both are fascinating, complicated, early examples of the Cavalry Box and it is almost as if the maker was purposely showing off his skill in making them.
This rosewood Cavalry Box has a mirror fitted to the inside lid that takes up most of the space save for the 2 cut outs below to take a small missing penknife and a brass topped pencil. The swivel tray has a removable tray to the back containing a toothbrush marked T.B. Hopgood Bishopsgate. There is also space for a collapsible shaving brush, a silver papered compartment and a small lift out tray with lid and a divided compartment below. Below the larger tray are a pair of boot pulls and a hinged lid which has 3 shallow, velvet lined compartments below, one with a mahogany lid. The outside of the tray has a tiny compartment with slide door containing a metal tube. To the side of the swivel tray are 3 thin compartments that may have taken a comb or similar tools. To the area in front of the tray there is an open compartment with a lid to the base that accesses a shallow compartment with a material book of pins and needles. When the tray is turned a boxwood foot to the underside drops down to support it. The bottom section has a razor strop to one side and is fitted to take 2 (now missing) razors next to it. Below the strop is a curious steel rod with grip to one end and leather sheaf. The larger area next to this is cut to take various tools including scissors and tweezers etc., all missing. To the back of the box is a small, silver capped bottle with another to the front next to a square boxwood 'bottle' veneered in mahogany.
Hopgood is listed in the 1815 directory as a perfumer at 202 Bishopsgate Without. He is listed later as a silversmith and jeweller and these 2 occupations tie in with him as a supplier for the fittings in the box. Early 19th Century.