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Bramah, Joseph, 1749–1814

[Campaign box belonging to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn] [realia].

Physical Description:
1 campaign box : leather, brass, and velvet ; 12 x 28 x 10 cm + 1 metal key
Rare Books and Manuscripts
NK3665.B73 C36 1799 Flat A
Yale Center for British Art, Hohenzollern-Schlaberg-Hughes Collection, Gift Thomas Lowe Hughes, Yale JD 1952
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
Edward, Prince, duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820), was the fourth son of King George III, and the father of Queen Victoria. He was created duke of Kent and Strathearn on 24 April 1799.
Joseph Bramah (1748-1814) was a prominent engineer and inventor, active at London. He is best known as the inventor of the hydraulic press.
Leather campaign box originally made for Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. A brass plate on the lid of the box is inscribed: "His R.H. the Duke of Kent." The exterior of the box is encased in a dark morocco (perhaps originally navy or dark green), lightly tooled in blind. The handle, hinges, and lock mechanism are all of brass. The interior of the box is lined in green velvet. The box is accompanied by the original key, and the locking mechanism is still functional. The interior of the lock (visible with the box open) is inscribed J. Bramah--i.e. Joseph Bramah, a noted locksmith and engineer of London.
Accompanying the box is a typed letter, dated 15 July 1939, which traces the provenance of the box from the Duke of Kent to Thomas L. Hughes, author of the letter. The letter notes: "This 'ditty box' [sic], used for personal effects by the Duke, was given to CFS-I sometime in the early 1800s. [Charles Frederick Schlaberg (1764-1847), a descendant of the Electors of Brandenburg, had trained as a soldier with Prince Edward at Luneburg, from 1785 to 1787]. It was in the Schlaberg family house, the 'Altdeutsche Haus' in the Osterstrasse, Hildesheim, hidden from the French occupation troops ... and smuggled out of Germany with CFS II [Charles Frederick Schlaberg (1794-1883)], 'wrapped in a bale of cotton,' in 1812 ... CFS II took the box with him to Edinburgh and later to Quebec ... He gave it to his son CFS III [Charles Frederick Schlaberg (1823-1914)]." The box subsequently passed to Warren Schlaberg (of Waverly, Iowa) and finally to Thomas L. Hughes.
Subject Terms:
Boxes -- Great Britain.
Bramah, Joseph, 1749-1814.
Edward Augustus, Prince, Duke of Kent, 1767-1820.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs.
Schlaberg, Charles Frederick, 1764-1847.
Schlaberg, Charles Frederick, 1794-1883.
Schlaberg, Charles Frederick, 1823-1914.
Boxes (containers)
Campaign boxes.
Locks (securing devices)
Keys (hardware)

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