So, I took Aloisius to the little park across the street from my apartment to try and get some good beauty shots.  The results were pretty decent, I think, but I promise to take him on adventures in the future.  He deserves to look dashing.

So, here is a picture of Aloisius chilling with some berries and mulch.  He was very good humored about the setting.  The crack in the top of the case was there when I bought him–adds character, I think.  And the hole on the front was initially a keyhole, but the mechanism has warped with time.  He no longer locks.






Here’s a view from the top, more directly.  I love the wood grain and the glinting mother of pearl.  Such a swashbuckler, Aloisius.







This view shows what he looks like when you open him up, but before you flip back the leather writing platform.  This space is convenient for storing paper.










And here is the writing platform.  The dark grey is lightly padded leather, and the split at the hinge is where it has dried out and cracked over time.  He must have lived in an antique shop for quite a while, because good owners make sure to apply oil.

The wooden boxes on the close end were originally used as ink wells.  The long slot is where your pen would rest, and it lifts up for penknife storage.  The slot that extends from one side to the other is just deep enough for small stationary, which is what I usually store there.







In this picture, I tried to get a close up on the gold gilding that’s pressed into the leather.  I think it’s a delicate but masculine pattern, which highlights Aloisius’s personality perfectly.







In this shot you can see the tiny drawers that hide underneath the smaller end of the leather platform.  The knobs are not original–one was missing when I bought him, so I went to another antique store and picked out some classy dresser pulls.

Fortunately, though, his key was still tucked away.  Even though it doesn’t work, I really like having it.  It’s sort of unassuming and mysterious at the same time.







Here’s what Aloisius looks like when his writing platform is all folded out.  I usually set him on a table, or on my larger writing desk, and stack a few sheets of paper on the surface when I write on him.  Otherwise the leather makes pencil lines look bumpy.

I have to be honest, though, Aloisius is a cuddler.  I sometimes write with him nestled in my lap.  The angle is easier on my wrist, but harder on my neck…I always forget to sit up and instead hunch over my work.





A close up of the feathery inlay on top of his case.










And last but not least, his initials, which inspired the name I gave him.

Aloisius Charles Crawley

8 thoughts on “Aloisius

  1. Thanks for reminding me how special he his…I had not seen a photo for a while…so I request yearly updates on his condition…a bit like school pictures and yet different. 🙂

    • Mom and dad bought Aloisius for me when I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan. We found him in a little antique shop in Bloomington, IL…but unfortunately, they didn’t have his papers. So, what I’ve discovered through research is that his mother of pearl inlay, most likely indicates that he was made in Germany between 1830 and 1840. I’m assuming that someone with the initials A.C.C. owned him, but that could also have been the initials of a company, if he was part of a clerk’s desk. I like to make up backstory for him, but I’ll probably never know his real origins. He’s a mysterious fellow.

  2. If there were any hallmarks they’ve all worn off by now. There are bits of red cord attached to the underside of his writing platform, but I think those likely held envelopes and paper in place at one point, rather than holding any authentication. And on his underside there is a worn circle that looks like it was never covered by the remaining green felt…but if there was a sticker or plaque on the circle, it’s long gone.

    And yes, he’s totally beautiful. : )

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