"Finnegan's, Birmingham and London", the maker or purveyor at least, of this splendid and complete c.1901 travel vanity luggage, valise, trousse de voyage. The gilded age was a time of splendor. A Bond Street address in London signified top of the line goods in that time (and now). If you know London, being on the Crescent, Bond Street, meant ultimate prestige. Add a Paris location, and you know Finnegan's fine reputation. Goods of inferior quality just did not make it there, nor did makers. So, some gentleman (likely) ordered this stunning set for his own Grand Tour or business travel. His monogram on all leather, and atop every sterling silver cap on jars and that rare liquor flask, and upon the tortoise shell mirror, brushes. There's a stationary folder there in its fitting on the bottom of the case, and a jewelry box tucked into its fitting left, the manicure and sewing valet tucks into a fitted section just inside, flanking the handle, and a perfect c.1901 tortoise shell comb rests in its fitting to the right, not a single tooth gone. This set is spectacular, has been mine for decades and it's really time to let it go on to its next fortunate owner. Consider, a single sterling silver with 18k gold (vermeil) coating liquor flask like that one, just 1 piece of 19, would bring $600 easily. A museum quality set, worthy of a feature in a period movie (yes, we have sold to movie production companies and have seen our things in episodes and full-length movies). When you're a collector/dealer, you do hold back the very best. Only replacing it when you find one even better. This is the best I've found (English) in 40 years buying. I've had a few French sets that certainly compete with or exceeded this one, true enough. I've had such fun doing what I do.
Very good to excellent, age and type considered. That it has all 19 items intact and with little to show by way of use or damage, is so rare. A little mystery - there is one monogrammed silver cap in the case, but no fittings empty. Odd, really. Perhaps one from which Finnegan's crafted the others, using it as standard for the raised silver monograms. The case is thick leather, and complete as you see it, it is heavy. You might want to just display this old beauty, but not use it for your own Grand Tour. I do have a few longtime customers who travel with theirs, and send me photos of them in use here or there around the world. Measurements of the case are noted. It is large. All brushes have boar bristles, of course, and are sanitized and in fine form. The old tortoise shell is top quality chocolate and cognac mottle and remains so elegant these 120 years later. I wonder who this gentleman was.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.