Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box
Georgian Portable Writing Box


Georgian Portable Writing Box

c. 1801 to c. 1816 England

Offered by Baggott Church Street Ltd

£4,650 gbp
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Fine quality mahogany box with a profusion of brass mounts and inset brass carrying handles. Brass plate to the top inscribed, Pat’k Hadon. The box opens to reveal a writing slope and various ink, sealing wax and lidded candle-holder compartments. The slope has two compartments for stationery and conceals four secret drawers. There is a long drawer beneath. The box can also be adjusted into a book reading rest and originally had two steel bolts for securing the box to the ship’s cabin for security when at sea or away from home. Bears original paper label: Gaimes Cutler & Perfumer No.54 St. Paul’s Church Yard & No.56 Cornhill. Dressing Case and Writing Desk Warehouses.
English, London, circa 1800 - 1816.
Height 8” (20cm) Width 20” (51cm) Depth 12” (30cm)
Stock No. 8486
With extensive research, details of only one Patrick Hadon have been uncovered and then there is conjecture regarding his name and it’s spelling. It is recorded that Patrick Hadon was born about 1769 in Fife, St. Andrews, Scotland, and that he married on 28 September, 1803 in Bombay, India, his bride’s name being Douglas MacDonald. He is first mentioned as Patrick Hadon Esq. in newspaper articles dating from 1809 as returning to the UK from India on board the Earl St. Vincent as part of the East India Shipping Co., with his wife and three children.

In various London newspaper articles in the mid 1800s he is referred to as Patrick Hadon, residing in Upper Harley Street and working from 122 Leadenhall Street, London, the offices of The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.(P&O). In others, his name is printed as Patrick Hadow, residing at the same address and working from the same place. Conjecture would infer that there is either some spelling or communication error in the pronunciation of the surname. There is nothing to indicate that the two names refer to two different gentlemen.

Entries in the 1841 and 1851 censuses indicate that he was living in Upper Harley Street, Marylebone, London, and his death in 1861 at the age of 91 was recorded in the same parish.

It appears that a Patrick Hadow Esq. lived in Colney House, Colney-Chapel, Hertfordshire in the 1810s and 20s and was, in fact, Sheriff of Hertfordshire in the year 1824. His existence in London appears to be from the mid 1830s, with Colney House being demolished in the year 1837.

Bombay was the Indian city from which Hadon(w) returned in 1809 and records indicate that he was in correspondence with David Scott-Merchant - a Director of The East India Co. - and that he operated as an attorney in Bombay. A man of significant means, he invariably spent time at sea and was subsequently heavily involved in the shipping industry from the mid 1800s.

Patrick Hadon(w)’s son Patrick Douglas was a Barrister and Oxford alumnus.
(Research papers confirming the foregoing are available on request).

William and Elizabeth Gaimes began making boxes of superior quality in 1801, the year of their marriage. William Gaimes had been made a Freeman of the City of London by patrimony in 1797 at the age of 22, beginning to trade as a Jeweller and Cutler from 1801. By April of that year, he was advertising his newly invented copying machine as well as all manner of travelling, writing, dressing and shaving boxes and instruments ‘completed in a superior style’. He eventually named his copying machine the Metagraph and, from 1807, described himself in his advertisements as goldsmith and jeweller to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex. He also describes his boxes as being of ‘beautiful mahogany and ... richly ornamented with curious inlaid brass-work...not to be equalled at any other house in the kingdom.’ The business operated from 51, 53 and 54 St Paul’s Churchyard and 56, Cornhill. Their manufactory was at 23 Blackfriar’s Road, Surrey and they also owned a shop at 41, Milsom Street, Bath.

His wife, Elizabeth, was also involved in the family business, and, after the birth of their son, Charles in 1811, apparently took over the business, with advertisements bearing only her name and insurance records showing the business was thereafter in her name only. With her untimely demise at the age of 36 in 1816 and William having passed away some time between 1811 and 1817, all their stock and home was sold by auction. Their son, Charles, became an esteemed hat maker, gaining his ‘freedom’ in 1844.

The Museum of London has a writing box described as: Plain mahogany portable writing desk with brass carrying handles and original lock and key; the inside an original baize-lined writing surface and two flap interiors. An envelope web is attached to the inside of one flap; a large printed label stuck to the underside of the other flap reads. ‘GAIMES il ne une faut que Soutien 54 St. Paul’s Churchyard and No 6 Cornhill, MANUFACTURER of Copying Machines Writing Desks/& all kinds of Ladies and Gentlemen Portable Cases for every purpose. Completed and adapted for travelling in any part of the World. Manufactured at No.23 Surrey St. Blackfriars Road London, where gentlemen may give orders for their own patterns’.
Stock Code
Baggott Church Street Ltd

Baggott Church Street Ltd
Church Street
GL54 1BB

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