A few weeks ago I spotted this old metal box at an antique store. The gentleman who owns the store has a lot of maritime and nautical pieces for sale. There were many beautiful antique etchings of old clipper ships, wonderful old baskets, ironstone, ship gauges, compasses and then this……a tall and narrow black metal box.
I picked the box up and read the tag:
“A rare antique document box from an old clipper ship – The Falls of Bruar”.
There was something so uniquely special about this box. I love the chipped black paint and the Victorian font done in gold paint.
As I held the box in my hands, I wondered to myself who once handled it and how many journeys had it made over the rough and tumultuous seas. What exactly did it hold? Old maps? Receipts? What kind of documents? Thoughts were spinning in my head. There was one thing though that I knew for sure, I just had to purchase the box. There was just something magical about it…..like finding an old lost friend.
After doing a little research about the box, I found that the Falls of Bruar was launched in 1879 at the shipyard of Russel & Co., Port Glasgow, Scotland for the Falls Line (Wright, Beakenridge & Co). The ship was named after The Falls of Bruar, which are a series of waterfalls on the Bruar Water in Scotland, about 8 miles from Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross.
The Falls of Bruar was a full-rigged four-masted iron ship built in 1879 by Russel & Co., Port Glasgow. Her dimensions are: 81,12×12,19×7,13 meters [266'2×40'0×23'5] and tonnage: 1808 GRT and 1740 NRT. Rigged with royal sails over double top and single topgallant sails.
Sadly enough, on September 2, 1887 the ship wrecked and sank 15 miles off Smith's Knoll on a voyage from Hamburg to Calcutta. That was 124 years ago tomorrow.
Below is a sister boat, The Falls of Halladale.
I have always loved nautical items, like the old clipper ship and light house picture above. Perhaps I am an old soul…..one who had ventured out on such a regal boat…sailing across high seas to reach a mysterious land. Or perhaps I waited on the widow watch for my loved one to return safely home from sea……carrying his love letter to me in the old metal document box. Maybe he even wore a kilt and played the bagpipes…..maybe….perhaps some things in life come full circle.
The box is a special treasure and an honor to own.