Saturday, April 26, 2014

Don't snap that box!

One thing that I learned young about the handling of Old and Delicate Things was how to close a box with a spring-loaded latch. Press the release button down -- don't snap the box closed.

This beautiful and uncommon fitted Waterman box shows why. Snapping a box closed not only puts a lot of pressure on the latch plate, but also subjects it to the impact of the falling catch -- which itself can break from the repeated shocks. In this case, it was the latch plate that gave way. Subsequent snap closures did further damage, gouging away the leatherette and wood at the latch point.

Good old boxes are becoming harder to find, and the wooden parts of hundred-year-old boxes are typically dry and fragile. So please, hold that button down, and don't snap that box.

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