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Assembling history

The endless variety of Britain’s architectural detail is not always easily classified. In The Brooking National Collection is a host of historic artefacts that defy categorisation, yet gives telling hints of how things were.

Cast iron – and very heavy – Edward VII lamp box (right) designed for fixing to lamp posts or telegraph poles. Made by Derby Castings, it retains its circa 1930’s enamel collection plate. The development of wall and lamp post boxes is illustrated in The Collection with various examples. Many are part of the fabric of historic and listed buildings.

High quality early 18th century carved Baltic pine doorcase canopy bracket (left) from Woodhill Manor, a large country house in Shamley Green, Surrey. Note the heavy buildup of paint. It is planned to partially strip this piece to illustrate the fine quality of the original carving.

Shoe-stopper (below) this selection of wall-mounted and free-standing bootscrapers. ranges from the 1840’s to the 1890’s. Bootscrapers were a necessary feature before roads were metalled. The Collection contains a wide selection of these delightful survivals from the mid 18th century to the early 20th.                                                                                                                     

Security check (right) in the early to mid 19th century, this sprung bell was designed for placing in a specially made bracket on the inside of folding window shutters as a burglar alarm. Or, it could simply be slid between the closed shutter bar and the shutter.

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