A Graduated Group of Four c.1890 Black Painted Steel Deed Boxes

Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth / Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890-1900
As Marked:
St. George Truden: 9.75 inches high / 16.75 inches wide / 12.75 inches deep
John Greenwoods’ Trust: 14.75 inches high / 20.75 inches wide / 13.75 inches deep
Kitcat & Aitken No.3: 16 inches high / 21.75 inches wide / 16 inches deep
William Hartley & Sons: 14 inches high / 26 inches wide / 16  inches deep

In original condition, the four rectangular containers stencilled in ivory or gilt with various estates or company names, the steel black painted, each with the original drop handles and lockable drop down or lift up lids, the wholes designed to be portable, yet strong,

In un-restored form the boxes are clean and benefit from their slightly distressed look, the black paint worn in places, for example around the escutcheons, where one would expect, and the gilt lettering still bright but beautifully mellowed with age.  There are keys for three of the boxes present with the locks all in working order and all have their original carrying swing handles, which vary in thickness and style. Two of the boxes have lift up lids whilst the other two have drop down fronts with internal chains and one has an internal paper label showing it was still in use in the 1960s. There are knocks and some dents to the boxes but overall they are presented in good condition.

The estates named on the deed boxes read as follows: ‘William Hartley & Sons (Wexham) Ltd”, “Kitcat & Aitken No.3”,  “John Greenwoods’ Trust:. Glen View Estate”, and “M ml, M.A. St. George Trudon”.

Though we are unsure about St. George Truden we know that William Hartley & Sons were in the construction industry, Kitcat & Aitken were stockbrokers, and John Greenwood [1845-1890] was a corn dealer and lived at Glen View, Todmorden.

The sober world of deeds has never seemed so attractive.