Royal Horse Guards Despatch Box

Royal Horse Guards Despatch Box


A grained red leather Despatch Box more than likely to have belonged to Adrian Rose of the Royal Horse Guards.

The box has postal slit with a sprung bar to the top which allows documents to be put in but only removed if the box is unlocked. The sprung lock is by Bramah and has a replaced key. The interior of the box lid has leather cross straps to hold notes. The lid's gilt brass hinges are very good quality and united by a rod for extra strength. The box has a raised, chamfered lip to provide a good seal and the maker's details 'J.C. Vickery To Their Majesties The King & Queen, 179.181.183 Regent St.' stamped in gilt to the front.

The handle to the top has been well repaired fairly early on in the box's life with the fixing nuts for the lion masks on view to the interior of the lid. It is doubtful a maker of Vickery's quality would have left the fittings on view when it was first made. The company were founded in 1890 by John Vickery and T. Hobbs, who left a year later, and were located at 183 Regent Street. With their success they expanded and by 1902 their full address was that on this box. In 1915 they further expanded to take on additional premises in Regent Street.

Above the handle, to the top of the box, the initials 'A.R.' and 'R.H.G.' is stamped in worn gilt. Vickery's given address dates the box to between 1902 and 1915. The only officer with the initials A.R. in the Royal Horse Guards between these dates was Adrian Rose. He was born on the 6th November 1878, the son of Sir Charles Day Rose. Rose followed his elder brother Charles Ernest into The Blues enlisting on the 29th of March 1899 as a 2nd Lieutenant. As Adrian travelled out to South Africa, to join his brother to fight in the 2nd Boer War, Charles was killed fighting on the 3rd of May 1899. Adrian received a medal with three clasps for South Africa. He was promoted to Lieutenant in February 1900 and then Captain in April 1905. He married in December 1907 but died from typhoid less than four months later in March 1908.

This is a good quality box from one of London's top makers at the turn of 1900 and has an interesting provenance. Circa 1905.


Height 15.23 cm / 6 "
Width 30.47 cm / 12 "
Depth 22.85 cm / 9 "

Circa 1905






A.R. R.H.G, J.C. Vickery To Their Majesties The King & Queen, 179.181.183 Regent St.'


Despatch Case


Good, period replacement fittings to handle