Queen Alexandra’s Correspondence Box, 1905
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Measurements Overall: 49cm (19.5in) x 34cm (13.5in) x 17.75cm (7in)
Black leather over wood with brass fittings, the hinged lid centrally applied with recessed handle over the crowned interlaced double ‘A’ cypher of Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, complete with working key, security lock; the interior stamped with the maker’s name of Harrison & Sons, Pall Mall.
Queen Alexandra (Queen Consort 1901-1910) one of the six children of Christian IX of Denmark - ‘The Father-in-Law of Europe’. Queen Alexandra was thus related to most of Europe's reigning and ex-reigning royal families. Her siblings included King George I of Greece, Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, while she married the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1863. With her principal residences including Marlborough House, London and Sandringham House, Norfolk, in addition to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, it was inevitable she would become a prolific letter writer in both private and public capacities.
Alexandra corresponded regularly with her sister Dagmar who married the future Tsar Alexander III in 1866. It was Dagmar from her home in Moscow that began to send her Alexandra the precious gifts by Carl Fabergé, that later grew into the group numbering more than 500 Fabergé objects in the Royal Collection.
Queen Alexandra was also an enthusiastic and prolific amateur photographer. Interestingly the Royal Collection contains a ‘trinket box’ made by Harrison & Sons, the maker’s of the present box, specifically to transport the Princess of Wales' negatives and prints when they were sent to Brown-Westhead and Moore to decorate a tea service (RCIN 2300010).
Harrison & Sons of Pall Mall, London were specialist booksellers, Government publishers, and export stationers, and were established in 1840. They specialised in sporting and military titles and were also the publishers of Burke's Peerage, Burke's Landed Gentry, The Titled Nobility of Europe, the Foreign Office List, India Office List, &c. They supply high-class Stationery and execute Heraldic Designs. Royal Warrant Holders to Queen Victoria, George V and to H.M. Queen Alexandra.