An Absolutely Stunning & Rare Irish Well Figured Coromandel Ladies or Gentleman’s Dressing Case or Vanity Box of substantial proportions, first half of the Nineteenth Century.
Made in Dublin, Ireland by Box Makers Thos. K Austin of Westmoreland Street, Dublin. Austins were manufacturers of portable Writing Slopes, Dressing Cases and Work Boxes.
The hinged lid features a fold down letter compartment hidden inside a removable leather framed looking glass backed in plush dark blue velvet. The box contains a stunning assortment of ten bottles and jars with exquisitely engraved lids with script applied monogram, one of which has a retailers paper label “J&E ATKINSON 24 OLD BOND ST. LONDON” also a removable accoutrements pad with various tools some with Mother of Pearl handles.
The front of the box features two drawers, one is vacant other has a fitted sectional interior for jewellery etc.
Condition: Superb for such an early piece, all glass jars and covers are original, some light wear to blue velvet, see images.
Width: 12" (30.5cm). Depth: 9" (22.75cm). Height: 7.5" (19cm).
Dressing Cases and Vanity Boxes were made to carry personal and toiletry items during travel for genteel ladies and gentlemen and were popular from the end of 18th Century to the last quarter of the 19th Century. During the first part of this period most Dressing Cases were made for men. These were used for going to war, education or when socializing. From the beginning of the 19th Century cases for ladies became more common as did their capacity to travel, for long visits to relatives or friends.
The boxes would contain perfume bottles, mirrors, brushes, combs, manicure sets and sometimes items for writing and concealed jewellery trays. The popularity declined for men during the Victorian era because men were expected to be more masculine, and ladies to be soft and pretty! Towards the end of the 19th Century Dressing Boxes became popular with all ladies, not just the more affluent.