|Victorian Dressing Box (Button At Back Edge)|
During the Summer Institute at Winterthur in 1978, I went out of my way to do favors for the docents who were working there. In return, they allowed me a certain "discretion" in my efforts to examine furniture in the collection. That meant I was allowed to actually open drawers, crawl underneath and generally handle objects (with a great deal of care.)
I spent three months at Winterthur that year and was allowed to live in my camper on the parking lot, just a few hundred yards from the museum and library. Each day at 8:00 am I was waiting at the door for it to open and each day at 9:00 pm I was the last person to leave when it closed.
During that time I had the pleasure of spending time in each of the 115 rooms studying the furniture at my leisure. One day I opened a slant front Chippendale desk and began to remove the usual "secret" compartments. As I continued to explore, I found an unusual cavity which had not been opened before (as far as the docents were aware.) Inside that compartment I found a neat $100 bill (in 1930 Monopoly money!) Of course I replaced it and I am sure it is still there today.
During the Victorian period there were lots of things produced which used secret escapements. Quite a few of them were lap desks. Since these were portable and often contained letters or money which was valuable, they included catches, moveable panels and springs which would open hidden compartments.
|Damaged Victorian Dressing Box|
|Secret Drawer Open|
Thus, since we are currently working on the second series of the Treasure Boxes, and designed these with a secret writing surface, it seemed like a good idea to use this method as a way of opening the trays. We are creating a gilt leather writing tray which will hide inside the box and be pushed out from the side. We needed a way to open the tray without a visible pull.
|Brass Catch Under Drawer|
|Antique Box Spring System Inside Drawer Opening|
|Prototype Tray System Test|
|Tray Pushed Open|
|Brass Catch under Tray|
NOTE: I had previously said I would send these without charging for shipping as they are small and I thought it would not be a problem. However, I already had two people who live outside USA ask for springs and have lost a bit of money due to postage. Therefore, as I cannot afford to loose any more money, I ask you to pay the postage. I am not asking for a profit; I just cannot keep loosing money. I was surprised at the demand for these specialized springs.
|For Sale! $25/pair or $120 for 10 plus S+H|
Talk about a niche market! You can't get these on Amazon! By the way, these are the same springs used by famous cabinet makers like Roentgen to operate complicated systems.