Victorian Rudolph Ackermann Mahogany and Brass Artist's Box with Original Watercolours and Contents


For sale, an important and complete turn of the century artist’s box by Rudolph Ackermann Jr of 191 Regent Street London.

Rudolph Ackermann Jr was the son of the renowned publisher Rudolph Ackermann responsible for numerous publications in the late Georgian period. His most renowned publication was “The Repository of Arts” which was largely responsible for influencing the fashions of the Regency period in everything from furniture to fabrics.  Morgan & Sanders, Pugin and George Bullock were some of the most notable furniture designers to lend their assistance.

In 1825, Rudolph Jr set up in business with his father at the Regent Street address shown on the trade label under the name of the Eclipse Gallery which specialised in sporting and military prints. He subsequently took on his father’s name following his death in 1834 and continued to trade under this name until his death in 1906 whereupon his son changed the name to Arthur Ackermann.

The light mahogany box comes complete with numerous lift out sections, integral tray with original flush handles and locking pin. It also remains with its original complete trade label to the back of the lid and to the interior as pictured. The measurements are 31x21x8cms.

The interior has nine separate sections, four of which are partitioned for increased storage. The contents are as follows:

Back Section

Lower: Three section with black, white and brown pastels

Upper: Original Ackermann watercolours

Crimson Lake, Prussian Blue, Van Dyke Brown, Light Red, Burnt Sienna, Gamboge, Raw Umber, White.

Indigo, Yellow Ochre, Sap Green, Vermilion, Raw Sienna, Bistre, Prussian Green, Blue Verditer.

Neutral Tint, Antwerp Blue, Saturnine Red, Burnt Umber, Brown Pink, Lamp Black, Cologne Earth, Indian Red.

One collapsible screw top tube of Windsor & Newton Rose Madder – Artists Oil Colour  

Middle Section

Left:  5 - 2x1.5cms ceramic colour mixing bowls

Second Left:  1 – 6.5cms diameter ceramic mixing bowl

Middle section Upper: 2 – ceramic mixing bowls with R. Ackermann labels to base (4cms diameter)

Middle Section Lower: 1 – 10x6cms ceramic mixing board stamped R. Ackermann 191 Regents Street

Right: 1 – 6.5cms diameter ceramic mixing bowl

Second Right: Bone or Ivory Brush Rest

Front Section

11 x E. Wolff & Son Creta Laevis coloured pencils

Cobalt, ? Brown, ? Grey, Blue No2, white, green, Blue No2, Sepia No2, (all others indistinct)

3 x sharpened paper sticks

20cm bone or ivory ruler

(Paper label inscribed, “R. Ackermann, Manufacturer of Superfine Water Colours, To Her Majesty & The Royal Family, 191 Regent Street)

From the evidence included within, this box is likely to date the last 25 years of Queen Victoria’s reign (circa 1880 – 1905), owing to the fact that the box is very clearly dedicated to her and that the R. Ackermann name did not last in this form beyond 1906.

The Windsor & Newton tube of Rose Madder includes the wording Limited below the cap which would place the contents beyond 1881 when they were incorporated and the inclusion of E. Wolff coloured pencils are definitively a later inclusion as the firm (although trading before this time) did not become E. Wolff & Son until 1911.

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