Antique Post Office Boxes
Antique Post Office Boxes are antique containers used to store both outgoing and ingoing mail.
The post office box was first invented in Paris in 1653. In 1852, the British Isles installed the first pillar post box in Jersey, and roadside wall boxes were first installed in England in 1857. During this time, post boxes were painted green, however, the standard colour was changed to red in 1874.Brief history and description
The earliest forms of post office boxes in North America in the 1880s were made out of heavy cast iron, and although they were originally built as pillar boxes, they were later built as free-standing post office boxes. In Canada, early forms of post boxes were painted red, while American post boxes were painted red or green.
In Russia, post office boxes were constructed from wood and iron and first introduced in 1848, while in Asia the first post boxes were introduced during the 19th century and were was made out of wood, (although metal pillar boxes first appeared in Hong Kong during the 1890s).
Guide for collectors
Antique post office box window displays are considered to be the most rare and valuable. Antique post office boxes which were painted a different colour than standard, modern-day post office boxes are also considered to be both rare and valuable.
Restoration of an antique post office box is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring the post office box may decrease its value.
For more information regarding antique post office boxes, visit the Maynard Historical Society's official website.
The Fame Bureau in Dartford sold a lot of antique oak post office boxes featuring brass inlays and wrought irons, as well as a lot of old-style postal windows (circa 1860s to 1990) for $1,400 in July of 2007, and another lot of antique oak post offices boxes with brass inlays, wrought irons, and old-style postal windows for $3,000 in June of 2007.
Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold an antique bronze post office box (36" x 21.5" x 12") which was manufactured by the Cutler Mail Cute Company in New York for $1,100 in April of 2008.
Victorian Casino Antiques in Las Vegas, Nevada sold a wood and metal post office box section (34" x 46") consisting of 72 different slots for $375 in October of 2011.
Windmill Acres, Inc. in Newton, North Carolina sold an antique post office lock box for $35 in April of 2006.