Queen Victoria Red Dispatch Box

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This deep red leather box, with Queen Victoria’s gilt–tooled Cipher (initials VR for Victoria Regina) and crown, is quite a statement piece.

It seems that it was most likely a red dispatch box (or despatch box) used to transport important messages or documents for the monarch or within the monarch's administration. 

This antique leather box one would make quite the statement anywhere you decide to place it: Desk, hallway entry table or have the inside fitted with trays for jewelry or watches.

It is not known if this box belonged to Queen Victoria herself or to someone in her administration.

Dimensions & Details

  • The box is wood and moroccan leather.
  • Measurements: (L)15"x (D)3 1/2" x (H)3 1/2".


  • England. 


  • Antique: 19th c. 


  • They box is fair antique condition. It has an aged appearance and is not perfect. There is wear, scratches, dark spots and flaking to the leather as you would expect to see in a piece of this age. It is in better condition than ofthers we have seen. The box is sound structurally and opens and closes properly.

Please note this item only ships via USPS.

History of the Red Dispatch Box

The Tradition of the Red Box: From most accounts the modern use of the red boxes started during the reign of Queen Victoria. There are two theories as to the color. One surmises that the color red was a favorite of Queen Victoria’s husband Albert due to the prominence of the color in his families Coat of Arms. Another dates the color and its use in royal communications to Queen Elizabeth I and her communication with the King of Spain during the 16th century.

The red box can be seen in paintings, photographs, drawings, and in movies. My favorite is the oil painting of Queen Victoria at Osborne by Sir Edwin Landseer. It depicts Queen Victoria, seated on her jet-black pony reading a letter. The red dispatch box is prominent in the foreground, letters with wax seals are scattered just to its right.  

It is reported that the current King Charles will continue to use the red dispatch boxes used by his mother Queen Elizabeth throughout her reign.

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