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Unidentified wooden box, possibly for 1800's pistol.

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Kipling79, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:20 PM.

  1. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    I recently found a small wooden box that was literally falling apart, but interesting enough to keep. The wood was old and dry, the joints were out of alignment, the lid had split in multiple places, and it was missing a brass keyhole cover & key.

    After a little steam, hide glue, brass work, and tung oil, I was surprised to be holding a truly gorgeous piece of craftsmanship... gorgeous enough that I wish to identify it.

    I have performed every possible keyword search that I can think of, and the only similar boxes that I can find are pistol presentation boxes from the 1800's, which have almost identical construction and hardware. Unfortunately though, this box seems far too shallow to hold even pocket revolvers, and none of the boxes I have seen also have a brass eagle on the cover as this one does (granted, I am not sure if the eagle was original).

    I will post dimensions and pictures directly below. Thanks for any help!

    Interior Dimensions (without padding/velvet): 9-1/8" x 4-1/8" x 1" (1" total depth includes the lid).


     
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  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Perhaps a wooden version of a modern brief case
     
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  3. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    This was my first impression as well, possibly a secure place to store important documents and such.

    Then, I stumbled onto pics like these:

    This cased Moores Derringer (subsequently Colt #1 Derringer) looks too similar to ignore. I'm hoping that someone recognizes the eagle on the lid of mine so that I can definitively rule the possibility of a pistol case out (or in).

    One tantalizing detail is that Moores produced a patriotic Derringer with an eagle engraved on the grip, and presented them to Union officers. I have yet to find a picture of a Patriotic Moore In a presentation case.... but I can dream that these cases had eagles on the lid as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021 at 10:22 AM
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  4. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Not too sure about that eagle, but the box itself could well have been a stationery box or box for writing implements or drafting tools. It would have had partitions for a small inkwell and other accoutrements and may have been part of a larger collection or assembly, such as travel equipment or campaign furniture.
     
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  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Yeah, I was wondering about those black stains. Powder fouling or ink?
     
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  6. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    I have absolutely no expertise in this field, but my first reaction was a box for the presentation of military medals. The eagle would make sense, and the size/depth seems about right.

    Larry
     
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  7. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Could have been a writing box as well.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Don't think it's to old has Philips head screws.
     
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  9. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    I should have noted that the original screws were all brass flatheads. Despite my best efforts, 50% stripped out during removal. I have kept them and am looking for good substitutes, but used what screws I had on-hand for temporary reassembly.
     
  10. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    I hadn't considered this and will definitely pursue this avenue. That eagle (if original) makes the box awkward for travel, packing, & stacking, so a ceremonial/display use makes sense.
     
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  11. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I have an almost exact duplicate, minus the eagle and plus some dividers. Inside are some sort of instruments. Long, thin stainless rods with a slider and on each end is a strawberry shaped nub. There are maybe 5 or 6 of these in it and they increase in size. I believe they were from my great Grandpa who was a veterinarian.

    Edit, i think they are for measuring wounds but not sure
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021 at 2:22 PM
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  12. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    This is great information. I had been focused on firearms because of the similar construction, and they were the only similar boxes that I could find.

    Knowing that there are similar boxes used in different industries makes the identification harder, but prevents me from getting tunnel vision.

    Moderators: Sorry if this thread ends up being in the wrong forum. I had previously convinced myself that this was a derringer box, but I obviously can't be sure.
     
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  13. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    The hinges and lock mech really seem to match my memory of the box. I dont know where it is or i'd post pics. We have never been able to figure out their use. I even tried for a while yesterday.

    It could even be an old micrometer or caliper box. They were often that approximate size.
     
  14. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Cee-gars?

    Lock it to keep the *help's* sticky fingers offa your stoogies, maybe.

    Todd.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM
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  15. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The staining could be gun shaped or pipe shaped or.. just about anything. It is a neat old box.
     
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