Early Portable Writing Desk By Joseph Bramah

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Object Description

An Early 19th-Century Portable Writing Desk
By Joseph Bramah

This very early writing box is constructed from fine mahogany timber with rectilinear brass strapwork adorning the lid and the sides; the lid containing a hinged writing slope, the box itself compartmentalised to house writing utensils, accoutrements, and inkwells. The lock mechanism an original Bramah patent mechanism with its original key; the box bearing the label of Joseph Bramah.
Circa 1800

Object Literature

Joseph Bramah (1749-1814)

Bramah was a practical Yorkshire inventor, responsible for the first flushing toilet, a beer engine and a quill sharpener, inter alia; but, his claim to fame was the founding of the Bramah Lock Company of Denmark Street St Giles London, in 1784, presenting his ‘unpickable’ lock to the world. The success was immediate, and the company moved to 124 Piccadilly.

This label pre-dates the name change of 1808, when Bramah’s son joined the company and the firm became J. Bramah & Son, as recorded in the annual Post Office Directory of that year. The paper label announced his trade as a “lock…manufactory” and maker of “portable writings desks” underneath an extravagant Royal Seal and the motto of the English Monarch.

Object Condition

Excellent condition

Object Details

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