M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
GEORGE III BRASS TOBACCO BOX & PIPE CARRIER
A brass combination tobacco box, clay pipe carrier and carrier for flint and steel,
of rectangular form with rounded corners, engraved to the top N HUNT over DOVER,
over a "Beadle"*, pointing a finger and dressed in hat and coat with staff -
(recall the similar figure, Mr. Bumble, the Beadle in Charles Dickens's "Oliver Twist")
opening to an interior with three compartments :
the top with an opening for the pipe,
the front for tobacco,
and the smallest verso, a flint case with grater.
(The practice at the time was to break the clay pipe to fit the length of the carrier).
*A Beadle was a parish official formerly employed in an English church to usher
and keep order during services.
Dickens's famous fictional constabulary beadle
Mr. Bumble, oversaw the parish workhouse and orphanage and is illustrated below.
Ref : A box of identical form and decoration (but inscribed for John Payne, Leeds)
is pictured in Schiffer, The Brass Book, p.100, fig. D, where it is described as "a very desirable object".
Condition : Excellent, with minor spots and scratches appropriate to age and usage
5.25” Long x 1.75” Wide x 1” High
||Small end showing flint carrier and grater or rasp
||Top opening showing pipe compartment and stem shaft
"Mr. Bumble" from Charles Dickens's classic novel "Oliver Twist",
who oversaw the parish workhouse and orphanage,
as illustrated above by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clark).
From "Character Sketches from Charles Dickens, Pourtrayed by Kyd",
"The Characters of Charles Dickens Pourtrayed in a Series of Original Water Colour Sketches by Kyd."
See Also :
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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
South Perkins Road / Memphis,
TN 38117 / USA /
Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment