early nineteenth century, the rectangular hinged top bearing the trade label of R. Ackermann enclosing a box in three compartments, also front drawer, 81mm. (height) by 310mm. (width) by 209mm. (depth)
The front compartment contains three quill nibs, one steel nib on a wooden handle and two wooden handles. The middle compartment includes space for two round ink or water bottles (with one square glass bottle present and some loss and damage to the wooden surround). This compartment includes a removable lid on which there is a metal plaque. This reads 'Artists Box | of | Emily Jane Brontë | Ladies' Literary Society | Manchester'. The back compartment comprises a paint tray with remnants of paint and some loss to individual compartment dividers. Below the tray is space for the geometry set and a compartment containing three miniature envelopes, two sticks of sealing wax and a small circular box of miniature gummed labels.
The geometry set comprises a morocco-covered box with a central metalic label inscribed 'EJB'. The box contains seven items including a folding bone ruler and a retractable steel nib pen.
The front drawer includes nine ceramic fitted mixing dishes mostly stamped 'Ackermann | 96 Strand'.
The Brontë sisters' interest in art is well-documented. This artist's box can be dated after 1827 since that was the date when Ackerman moved business premises from 101 Strand to 96 Strand. Charlotte Brontë's paint box, from the sale of Mr Nicholls' collection, was sold in these rooms in 1907. It is now owned by the Brontë Pasonage Museum.
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