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What is this?

-1a: case
-1b: jewelry drawer
-1c: jewelry drawer cover
-1d: mirror
-1e: interior tray with silver handles
-1f: tray for manicure tools
-1g: key
rectangular box,lined with purple silk, fitted with leather document holders, and mirror with gold-leaf foliate border, the upper level with 4 rectangular and 1 central faceted silver-lidded cylindrical cologne jars, 3 silver-lidded glass boxes, 2 silver-lidded glass ink bottles, mother-of-pearl handled sewing implements, tweezers, button hook, pen knife and hole punch or scorer-all in the upper compartment, a secret drawer below fitted with a letter writing slide.

This object is full of stories

Unlike today, when air travel requires carry-on toiletry liquids to be in clear plastic bags and other containers, in the 19th century, this elegant dressing-table box would have held stylish and functional implements. The owner probably had someone to carry it for him or her, so considerations such as weight and sturdiness were not paramount. While both sexes availed themselves of such boxes, with minor variations of implements, this example appears more likely to have been a man’s. In 1870s London, a man might have had creams for his hair and wax for his moustache, colognes and manicure equipment, and buttonhooks and other items needed for dressing. The leisure classes were likely to communicate by mail as well, often several times a day, so this traveling case provides pouches for stationery, pen, inkwell, and sander, as well as a surface in a concealed drawer for composing (and perhaps hiding) correspondence.

This is a traveling dressing table set from United Kingdom. It is dated 1875 and we acquired it in 1984. Gift of Danny J. H. Kauffman.

Its medium is

coromandel-veneered joined wood, lined with silk, gilded and tooled calfskin leather, raised, chased and engraved silver, cut glass, mirrored glass, carved mother-of-pearl (handles), cut and engraved brass (hinges and tools), gilt-metal, forged steel (imp

Its dimensions are

Open: 38.4 x 32.4 x 30 cm (15 1/8 x 12 3/4 x 11 13/16 in.) Other (-1d, mirror): 29 x 1.3 x 20.2 cm (11 7/16 x 1/2 x 7 15/16 in.) H x W x D: 21.3 x 32.4 x 23.3 cm (8 3/8 x 12 3/4 x 9 3/16 in.)

It has the following markings

maker's mark T.W in a rectangular punch for Thomas Whitehouse (this mark registered in 1862), with gothic lower case 'u' for London, 1875-76, the London leopard head, the sterling lion passant, and Queen Victoria's head duty mark on the silver on the case; the hinges and lock plates engraved . The lockplate signed "A? BRAMAH LONDON" The case with ASPREY -166- BOND STREET in a circular arrangement, the leather on the lid document holders stamped in gold leaf with ASPREY & SON, MAKERS, 166 BOND ST. LONDON"

It is inscribed

the silver lids engraved with a monogram of overlapping "EA" within a "D"?

This object was retailed by Asprey & Son Co. and silversmith Thomas Whitehouse

This object was donated by Danny J. H. Kauffman

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18802401/ |title=Traveling Dressing Table Set, 1875 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 December 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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