1900 Antique Isambard Brunel Royal Albert Bridge Celluloid Snuff Box

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#AD158 Isambard Kingdom Brunel Saltash Bridge Photography Snuff Box

This is a beautiful and original clean little Victorian era photography box with a real early photographic image of the famous Saltash Railway Bridge designed by Isambard Brunel 1806-1859. Brunel is considered one of the most famous British civil engineers, having designed many innovative and history changing designs during the British Industrial Revolution. The box is stamped E.P.N.S. for "Electro Plated Nickel Silver" on the inside rim, and is of a high quality. It would have been a snuff box, stud box for cufflinks, or general desk trinket box.

The Saltash or "Royal Albert Bridge" is a unique railway bridge carrying the Cornish Main Line railway over the River Tamar between Plymouth, Devon and Saltash, Cornwall. Designed by Brunel, construction began in 1848 with a ceremonial opening by Prince Albert in 1859 at its completion, the year of Brunel's death. This bridge is considered Brunel's final masterpiece, as he died a few months after it was completed. His name, "I.K. Brunel 1859" is prominently displayed on the spans to either side, to be seen by all at crossing, commemorating his amazing work. This famous Cornish bridge can be found on the £2 coin in Britain, as well as on postage stamps, paintings, souvenirs, and in travel and guide books.

The small Victorian era box, circa 1900, has a wonderful sepia toned celluloid image of the bridge. Celluloid itself is an amazing old invention of the 1850's, heavily used in early film. An early thermoplastic, it was first patented with the offical name of "Celluloid" in 1870. Celluloid was flammable, expensive to produce and later replaced by acetate.

This is an original vintage box found in Totnes, Devon, England, about 25 miles from the bridge. It is clean and beautiful. There is some tarnishing of silver plate inside, we did not touch it, is shown just as found. Click images to see condition in close up views and click again to open full images on screen for scrolling to right. We were thrilled to find it, and in this condition. A wonderful early photography piece as well.

debra clifford antiques devon sold archive
Size: 2.75 x 1.5 inches
debra clifford antiques   Welcome! We have a 100% approval policy. Also visit Debra's other 2 sites: Ancestorville, with thousands of early signed vintage lost family photos of the 19th century for genealogy, and Vintage Poster Works, a vintage antique advertising site. email Debra with any questions here. We proudly use recycled packaging when we can.

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