This English rosewood Compendium or travel vanity box is from the 19thC and exemplifies the lifestyle of the wealthy lady at that time. The box is made of rosewood and has handsome brass inlay on the top and front. Adding to this, is the elegant brass plate on the top which might have been intended for a monogram, the brass flower lock plate and the tailored handle for the jewelry drawer. The quality of the workmanship continues with the interior details.
The front section of the top lifts out for storing smaller items. The centre tray would have held tweezers and scissors. There are 2 removable boxes with slide lids, one at each end, for further storage. The long thin compartment at the front was probably for files or pens. There are 2 tiny Moroccan leather folders on each side of the scissor tray, possibly for sewing implements. One of the leather tabs has come off, but is still there for a modest repair. All of the boxes are made of the finest mahogany and fit like the day they were made. The back section of the top layer has 2 fancy glass bottles for perfume or cologne. Between these 2 bottles there is another lift out tray containing 2 covered jars and a pin cushion. The 2 jars have facetted sides and silver plated tops, all in excellent condition.
The jewelry drawer is opened by lifting the brass pin next to the lock. The drawer is divided into 4 sections and is lined in a padded moire silk. There is some discoloration to a small area of the silk where water might have been splashed onto the surface. Lastly, the lid of the compendium has an embossed Moroccan folder for keeping letters. This is held in place with a metal clip.
The box measures 10 inches across, 7.25 inches deep and 6.25 inches tall. There is a separation in the rosewood on the top that can be seen in the 4th picture. This is an antique piece and very minor imperfections should be expected. This English gem would make a special gift for someone.