A red leather Irish Office Dispatch Box by T. Powell of 341 Oxford Street.
Thomas Powell is noted as a trunk and messenger box maker in the 1815 London Directory at the above address and his label to the box interior states that he is the Original Maker to His Majesty. By 1823 Thomas is absent from the directories but it is interesting to note that a John Powell who was possibly a relative and described himself as a military equipage manufacturer, appears with a Marylebone and Pall Mall address in the 1830s and 40s. This box is stamped in gilt to the leather on either side of the lock plate with GR below a crown and again to the middle of the top. Irish Office is also stamped to the top. It has had on going repairs with the corners patched where the leather has worn.
This box would have been used by the Irish office for conveying important papers and given its early 19th century date would have seen some interesting times with the Union of 1801 and Napoleon's plans to aid the Irish Catholics and use the country as a stepping stone to Britain. Early 19th century.