W J. MILNE, 126 PRINCES STREET, EDINBURGH*
I have pleasure in offering for sale this magnicent late 19th Century Writing Box Compendium by the distinguished maker, W & J Milne. Over the years I have sold several boxes by them, and have come to greatly appreciate the excellence of their craftsmanship. This box must have been one of the finest pieces they have produced. It would have been made on commision as a 'one off', and presented to Louise Reggio, who was born on 6th July 1890 in New Orleans, Louisianna, and who died on the 22nd April 1950 in Torrance, Los Angeles, California.
The box is clad in pebble grained Green leather having a central handle and intricate gold tooling in the top with the name 'LOUISE' in gothic characters. and decorative borders on each side. Inside the gold tooling is everywhere. The blue leather interior comprises a dark blue velvet writing surface in almost perfect condition, and a divided stationery rack holding a large amount of the original stationery. The accessories include a ruler, pen, pencil, penknife, a pair of gilt top ink bottles, with a matching leather folder containing unused blotting paper (in the compartment under the writing surface).
All the brass fittings are hand engraved, and the gilding is in excellent condition.
The substantial lock is stamped 'Bramah Patent, London'and comes with an original Bramah key.
The maker's name and address is gilt embossed in four places.
It is evident that Louise Reggio had hardly used the box, as the condition is close to pristine.
*The firm of W. & J. Milne of 126 Princes Street, Edinburgh (in business from 1844 to c.1905) were celebrated ‘box makers’ in fancy wood, leather and ivory and registered patents for some of their products. They had a key craft skill developed over several generations of family involvement in leather as book bindings and for pocket book making and therefore focused their own workshop activities in these areas, buying in components such as glass or silverwares from other suppliers.
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