Boxed Silver Gilt Desk Set

Boxed Silver Gilt Desk Set



Redesdale Silver Gilt Desk Set

A leather boxed Silver Gilt and glass Desk Set.

The four components of the set are a travel inkwell, a pen wipe with sponge, a plain jar with lid and a light box with matches. They are all engraved to the top with the Mitford coat of arms of two hands grasping a sword erect piercing a boar's head. Below are the entwined initials ABM and the motto 'God Careth For Us', for Algernon Bertram Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale.

The curiosity to this set is that the London hallmarks for Frances Douglas for the different pieces have a variation in date of nearly 40 years. The pen wipe is dated 1836, which could also be true for the illegible marks to the inkwell, whereas the light box and jar are marked for 1874. An explanation may be that the two earlier parts were perhaps taken from a Portable Desk and added to later. The leather box that houses them was probably made in 1874.

Mitford wrote a number of books on Japan and advised Gilbert and Sullivan on their 1885 Savoy Opera The Mikado. A portable Desk Set such as this would have proved very useful to him in his work. Dated 1874.

Case size is given.

Algernon Bertram Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale
He was a British diplomat, collector, traveller and writer with a great interest in Japan. He joined the Foreign Office in 1858. After a number of posts in the east, he left the Diplomatic Service in 1873 and a year later became secretary to HM Office of Works. He was also MP for Stratford-on-Avon from 1892. He received the revived title of Baron Redesdale in the 1902 Coronation Honours.


Height 5.08 cm / 2 "
Width 21.58 cm / 8 "
Depth 5.71 cm / 2 "



Gilt silver, glass and leather




Engraved ABM with crest. Hallmarked for Francis Douglas


Portable Writing Set

From Chair To Cannon

Good. Glass to inkwell probably replaced. Later description added to lid interior.