Maker: J.W. Allen
A small brass bound, mahogany Dressing Case by Allen.
Allen described it in their 1878 catalogue as 'With Morticed Partitions, Circular Corners, Screwed Brass Mounts, and Lever Lock. Warranted to stand any climate. Containing Tooth Powder and Pomade Jars, and Soap Box of Cut Glass, with best Plated Tops, Silver-mounted Scent Bottle, Box for Jewellery, Tooth, Nail, and Badger-hair Shaving Brushes, pair of Razors and Stroop, Boot-hooks, Nail File, Knife, Scissors, Comb, and Looking Glass, complete.'
This case cost £3 15s but you could spend nearly a pound more to buy a similar case but with 'Secret Drawers for Notes and Sovereigns, and an additional Jewel Drawer, the Boot-hooks only being omitted.' A further 5 shillings would buy you a taller case with extra articles in it. The contents, and removable pad that held the razors etc. to the top, are missing but the dividers are all in place and the box would be well employed for jewellery or as a desk tidy etc.
The engraved name plate states 'Allen 18-22 Strand London' Allen used this address from 1849 when the expanded from 22 to include 18. Its likely that Allen produced this design of Dressing Case over a long period of time and quality of the case suggests it could be early to mid 19th century although its known that they made them much later as well. The screws are all lined up and the timber is a rich colour. The top has a brass name plate with worn engraving that for R. D. Tyler Esq. Circa 1875.