H:6.5 ”,16.5 cms, W:20 ”,51 cms, D:10 ”,25.4 cms.
These officer’s writing boxes were made in considerable numbers during the late 18th and early 19th. centuries when Great Britain was fighting during the Napoleonic Wars all over Europe, in India, the Caribbean etc. and every senior officer would have had to have just such a writing box to send important comminiques to superior officers and orders to colleagues. They would also have been used for sending notes to family and friends as well as news of outstanding bravery being mentioned in dispatches. They would have travelled the World with their owners and were often executed in Mahogany, Rosewood and Walnut with occasional examples made in far off lands in Teak or Camphor. They are traditionally brass bound with brass reinforced corners to protect the boxes which may have been transported by mule, horse and cart, ship etc. The need for these boxes disappeared rapidly on the invention of firstly the telegram by Pavel Schilling who built the earliest recorded telegraph machine in 1832 with Samuel Morse using his own code first in 1844. Alexander Graham Bell invented and patented the telephone in 1876 and the rest, as they say, is history.