Thursday, March 11, 2010
Antique Writing Boxes- holy friggin' crap!!
Many of you know that I got my start in woodworking. I actually didn't know anything about pens, paper, ink, writing, or any of that stuff when I first got into all of this 3 years ago. I was inspired by Norm Abram and the New Yankee Workshop (which after 21 years is regretfully ending) and David Marks with his show Wood Works (also ended years ago). I have a passion for beautiful wood, and that's what got me into making pens in the first place. Pens led me to fountain pens, which led me to paper and ink, and here I am.
As a daily user of various fountain pens, I find myself needing a way to house and organize the writing materials I use on a daily basis. Right now I have a velvet roll with my pens (over 100 of them), random cardboard boxes filled with paper, and all of my inks sitting in a half-open USPS small flat rate box (it's been used, don't worry I'm not using the boxes inappropriately!).
Hygra.com. Thank you Hyrga for the great pictures (no affiliation). Click around their site for a while and check out some of those boxes!! Some of my favorites are the Tunbridge with its micro mosaics, the Masonic box with marquetry, and the ebony with mother of pearl inlayed box. Mind-blowing!!! To think that there were craftsman working at this level at one point in time, it's so entirely inspiring for an individual like myself. There are different variations of the boxes based on their purpose, whether they're meant to be kept on a desk, or used for traveling (known as a lap desk or traveling desk). Here's an example of a lap desk, no affiliation. And here's a traveling desk, no affiliation. A writing slope is like a writing box, but is slanted when closed, sort of like a writing box but with the top half missing. Whatever your flavor, they're all very, very cool
***Update to this post: There's no way I can build my own! It was something that really piqued my interest, but as soon as I began to look into it, I very quickly discovered that I had no where near the craftsmanship or time to do the kind of work you see here. These types of boxes appear to be representative of an era gone by, and the exorbitant prices you see for antique boxes are fair because boxes like these will never be made again.