Early Victorian Silver Gilt Castle-Top Letter Opener / Stamp Box / Wafer Seal Container Torquay

Taylor & Perry, Birmingham 1840
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An extremely rare early Victorian silver gilt 'Castle-Top' Letter Opener, the handle with raised scenes depicting Torquay in Devon, the blade with foliate engraving including flower heads and thistles. The top of the handle has a hinged compartment possibly to hold stamps, but more likely for wafer seals.

The handle is especially beautifully as it decorated with an idyllic scene of the Devon seaside resort of Torquay. There are yachts in the bay whilst the hotels that were established for early Victorian tourists stand along the seafront. The scene is raised and is in the theme of the castle top series of boxes bought by wealthy travelers following the advent of the railways. The scene continues around to the reverse of the handle and shows some houses and tree-lined hills further up the cliffs. Along one edge of the handle can be found in raised lettering the name of the original retail jeweller: "James Braham, 8 Strand, Torquay".

By Taylor & Perry, Birmingham, 1840

Provenance: The 'Primrose' Collection of Stamp Boxes, sold by David Feldman, Geneva, Switzerland, May 27, 2000, Lot 20008. The piece was described as as the earliest recorded silver Stamp Box.

£595.00

Condition
Some loss of gilding and minor wear to the blade, but otherwise in good crisp condition.
Dimensions
H
233 mm (9.17 inches)
W
24 mm (0.94 inches)
D
6 mm (0.24 inches)
Weight
62.00 Grams (1.99 troy ounces)
Country
England
Stock Code
LR231120A
Medium
Silver