Charming relic from another age. The Ackermann & Co. label has been re-pinned and stuck back on to the lid, but I have no reason to doubt that it wasn’t part of the original set up. The box has a nice early keyhole to the front and the watercolour blocks are in immaculate condition; so often you find these boxes with the blocks half-used.
Mr Ackermann’s shop in the Strand was the famous Repository of Arts, a print and picture emporium founded in 1796 by Rudolph Ackermann. At that time the Strand was a fashionable street popular with the Upper Classes and a centre for shops specialising in luxury goods. In 1797 Ackermann moved his premises to 101 Strand, which he named “The Repository of Arts” the following year., and in 1827 he moved to 96 Strand, where he sold prints, art supplies, paintings, miniatures and decorative items. The shop closed in 1856.