Quality Irish brass mounted rosewood dressing case with jewellery draw by Austins of Dublin c1850. Fitted, velvet-lined interior with glass stoppered bottles and tray holding five silver-plate topped canisters and glass scent bottle. The tray's centre also contains a manicure set that lifts out to reveal a storage area. The velvet lined tray lifts to reveal a Moroccan leather-lined storage area below. To the front of the box is a silk-lined spring drawer to hold jewellery which opens by a concealed release catch. Inlaid maker's plaque to top of drawer reading "Austins. St Andrew Street Dublin". The underside of the lid has a green velvet panel that falls forward to reveal a blue Moroccan leather correspondence folder and a free standing velvet covered mirror. Externally the case is brass mounted with brass inlaid lines to its front and an inlaid brass escutcheon engraved 'PA Knox'. The case measures 31 cm in width, 23 cm depth and 17.5 cm in height.
George Austin (cabinet maker) was registered at 7 St Andrew's Street in 1827 but likely that his business had been established some years prior. He made and sold writing desks, dressing cases and military canteens as well as fancy goods. By 1840 his shop was known as Austin's Manufactory. His son (Thomas) joined the business and soon after they win a silver medal from the Royal Dublin Society at the exhibition of 1844. In 1847 George was appointed cabinet maker to Lord Clarendon (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland). The business expanded into larger premises at 39 Westmoreland Street where in 1862 the Dublin Street directory lists Thomas and George Austin as dressing case and dispatch box manufactures to the Viceregal Court, cutlers, stationers and importers of French and foreign fancy goods, late of St Andrews, Street. In 1883 Austin & Company Ltd acquire the business and purchase No 38 Westmoreland Street in an effort to expand and advertise that they are now selling repousse work, jewellery and china. In 1891, Edward R Moore, buyer and Managing partner resigns and sets up his own company in competition at 86 Grafton Street. In August 1891 the shareholders decide on the voluntary liquidation of the company due to the ill health of Thomas K Austin.
For more information on the history of dressing cases please see our section in Maker's History.
Brass Mounted Rosewood Ladies' Dressing Jewellery Box by Austins of Dublin c1850
The case is in excellent condition with a beautifully aged patina to the rosewood which retains its original finish. Internal linings are in exceptionally good condition. Internal contents in excellent condition are complete and original. The mirror has been replaced - covered in green velvet to match original lining. Please see images as these form an important part of the description.
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