WWII Spyglass Vanity Box

  • WWII Spyglass Vanity Box
  • WWII Spyglass Vanity Box
  • WWII Spyglass Vanity Box
  • WWII Spyglass Vanity Box
  • WWII Spyglass Vanity Box

SOLD: A large and weathered wood box that once held the spyglass of a U.S. Navy Ship’s Quartermaster has been given new life as a one-of-a-kind dresser box to hold the day’s accumulations.

This original WWII U.S. Navy Spyglass Box was on its way to the landfill when I found it. I assume, since the actual spyglass (telescope) was missing, someone thought the box had no purpose. I believe that its purpose is to honor its history, the era and those who served.

The brass maker’s label plate reads:
U.S. Navy Spyglass
Quartermaster Mark II
16 Power BU Ships
Serial No. 28559 1942 Cont. No. NXSS 27440
Chemical & Mfg. Division
Hayward Lumber & Invo. Co.
Los Angeles

[A Quarter Master was a sailor whose rate comprised shipboard activities such as navigation, lookouts, timekeeping and underway operations.]

The box is in good vintage condition with some minor warping of the wood as one would expect from a piece that was used at sea. After a detailed cleaning, I chose not to “refinish” the box, but rather to give it a very light hand sanding to smooth out roughness and treat the wood with Watco Oil followed by a high quality furniture wax to protect and preserve the current condition. This brought out the beauty of the wood grain without changing the character nor the patina that has accumulated over some 70 years. The hardware is original and works smoothly as intended. It was cleaned but otherwise left as found. I have covered the interior with cork to protect your personal items and added felt pads to the bottom of the box to protect your dresser.

As shown in the pictures, the box can be closed and latched, opened with the lid propped straight up, or opened flat. There are four sections (originally made to cradle the spyglass) in the bottom of the box and four sections in the lid. In addition to a dresser box, this box could also be used as a decorative piece on a sofa table or bookcase, or perhaps to hold liquor decanters and barware.

The box measures approx. 32.25″ wide, 5.125″ deep, and 5″ high; when opened flat it measures approx. 10.25″ deep and 2.5″ high. This sale is for the box only; accessories are not included.