A leather on softwood Domed Top Box or Casket by William Brice.
The box has a brass carrying handle to the top, a brass hasp lock and studs to both the top and bottom sections, where they meet. The lid is held by 2 strong hinges and the bottom of the casket has a lip to ensure a good fit. The interior is lined in over printed old newsprint, as was the custom in the day, from either a book or pamphlet entitled Medical Vulgar Errors Refuted. It's likely that this was written by John Jones M.B. and published in 1797. The interior also has a label to the lid for William Brice of No. 14 Lower Corn Street, Bristol.
This box is typical of the many made either side of 1800 by a variety of makers. However, it has added interest for the maker's label which uses the word Campaign to describe his wares. A number of makers described their products as suitable for camp or for the army, navy and HEIC but few used the word Campaign to describe travelling goods. Aside from Brice it is known that a trunk maker named Griffith from Mary-le-bone Street, London did so around the same time period. Drew also later described Campaigning Equipment in their flyer of 1885.
The trunk is well made, using thick wood and has a very interesting label. Circa 1800.
William Brice is significant as he is one of the few makers, along with Griffith of Golden Square, Mary-le-bone, who used the word campaign to describe their wares. Both were in business at the end of the 18th Century.
The oldest Bristol directory is dated 1775 and it lists William Brice as a trunk maker at 14 Corn Street. He is still in business at the same address in 1801 but by 1830 Luke Kendall is listed at 14 Corn Street. He was also a trunk maker so it is possible that he formerly worked for Brice or married into his family and took over the business.