Asprey Desk Set & Document Holder, English, Circa 1875

The Asprey Company is an iconic British luxury home goods maker, located in London, England and was established by William Asprey in 1781, They established their current residence in London on Bond Street between 1847 and 1859 after a couple of acquisitions. They were the Nieman-Marcus of the day and made only the finest products, utilizing the best quality materials; dealing in everything from jewelry to fashion, and appealing to those wanting to buy gifts for weddings, occasions, and events.

This is a customized desk set, consisting of a crystal cut glass inkwell with a brass hinged lid, resting in a velvet lined well. Markings on the velvet lining under the inkwell indicate Asprey manufacture and Bond Street location “Asprey London, 166 Bond Street 22 Albemarle Street”. To the sides of the well are two Wedgwood cameos with the typical Greek mythology themed blue and white jasperware. Resting inside the recessed pen holder is a 14k gold nib pen marked “no. 3”, made by Aiken & Lambert, an American company (New York City) and manufacturer of fine quality gold fountain pens. Hand engraved brass mounts are applied to the surface, while the oval shaped inkwell and pen holder rests on three bun feet. The wood is an ebonized calamander (coromandel wood) which is a rare and valuable hardwood from Sri Lanka.

Also included as part of the desk set Is a hinged, fold over, double sided document holder with a blotter lined interior. The exterior of the document holder is also of calamander wood, with hand engraved brass mounts to the top surface. As with the desk inkwell and pen holder, the document holder has a Wedgewood blue and white jasperware cameo with a Greek mythology theme, applied in the center. Not certain whether or not the pen, an American item, went with the set or not, but it sure looks nice and is included regardless.

The entire set is in excellent all original condition and dates from the Victorian era circa 1870’s. It should be noted that in 1862 Queen Victoria awarded the Asprey Company “The Royal Warrant”, a commendation award for excellence in their crafting of fine quality dressing cases, traveling bags, and writing and desk sets. This is a rare, attractive, and unique item and would make a wonderful gift, or addition to a desk area decorating scheme.

Dimensions: oval stand is 13 1/4” long x. 10” deep x 2” high (stand only); 5 1/2” overall with inkwell in place

document holder is 11 3/4″ high x 8 3/8″ wide x 1 1/4″ high

Inkwell is 4 1/4” high x 3 1/2” diameter

England Circa 1775 c.