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Capt. MacPherson Writing Slope


Maker: William Dobson

Category: Archive

Subcategory: Boxes

A brass edged, mahogany Writing Desk made by Dobson of 166 Strand. This slope was made with strength in mind and the use of brass to re-inforce and protect the joints and edges is extensive. Aside from every outside edge set in brass strip, when opened it can be seen that the four corners also have brass corners to strengthen the joints. As is customary, the box has an area to the top with dividers for inkwells, a lidded compartment and pen tray etc. There are also 2 brass lined fittings which originally would have each held a candle sconce. The box has a replaced lectern bar and there is an arm that can be set to support the top of the box at one of 10 angles to rest a book. Underneath the top of the baized writing area, the well has 2 dividers. When the one to the left is removed part of the board below can be lifted to reveal a secret well which again has a sprung facia hiding 2 small drawers.

The box also has a plain drawer to the side which can be opened once its locking pin is lifted. The main lock is marked Thompson GR Patent, Bir.m. Dobson has fixed 2 labels to the undersides of the writing surface. The shaped brass plate to the top of the box echoes the escutcheon shape and is engraved Capt. Donald Macpherson, H.M. 67th Regt. Of Foot. Macpherson became an Ensign in the 75th Regiment in 1803, switching to the 67th to become a Lieutenant in 1808. 10 years later he rose to the rank of Captain. He sold his commission to Henry Foley, who had been on half pay, on the 16th April 1829. After this date we can find no more mention of Macpherson in the army lists so it is likely he retired. Given Macpherson's rank and the Dobson's address, the box was purchased between 1818 and 1826.
Closed size is given.

  • Dimensions:
    H 17.5cm x W 50.5cm x D 25.5cm
    H 6¾" x W 19¾" x D 10"

  • Year: 1818 to 1826.
  • Medium: Brass Edged Mahogany
  • Country: England
  • Signed: Made by Dobson.
  • Style: Campaign Desk
  • Provenance: Capt. Donald Macpherson, H.M. 67th Regt. Of Foot.
  • Awards: Capt. Donald Macpherson, H.M. 67th Regt. Of Foot.
  • Exhibition: The Baggage Elephant
  • Reference Number: 81303