The old Napoleon III era French cabinetry makers seemed in competition to turn out the finest and most opulent boxes of all types (c.1850-70), and I've long long been an avid collector. The finest makers are TAHAN, Vervelle, Paul Sormani, Alphonse Giroux, maybe a couple of others but of them all, TAHAN is the name plate most sought after, then and still. This is a superb and large tabletop desk, a writer's cabinet or chest, lift top and hinged large writer's slope giving access and storage for writing paper, envelopes, note cards, inkwells (2 remains), pens, nibs, stamps, sealing wax and more - a correspondence dream, these large old chests. We've had some incredible ones through the years, some TAHAN. This is a TAHAN, Paris, cabinet - made to highest standard, the wood veneers are exquisite, the stringing and contrast parquets, cartouche in boulle work with monogram - all aspects of finest quality, and the old dark Royal blue silk velvet writer's surface is the original. All of that said, and noting the lock plate is engraved TAHAN, (maker to the Emperor - which would have been Emperor Napoleon III), this one has some flaws, some evidence of use and long life. But still that elegance and quality survives - just offered here at a reduced price compared to most of these we've had, owing to aspects as noted below.
Good to very good condition, age and type considered. While this began as one of the finest chests possible, it shows signs of age and wear. I've shown detail images of those most notable spots and large photos of the chest from all views for your evaluation. There should be a trim panel across the top of the back of the chest (see image of rear panel), and that trim is missing - sure, not difficult to do a restoration on that, but bears mention. A couple of slightly rough places, notation of 1 inkwell being there though there would have originally been a 2nd. Hinges are all strong and the writing top and inner storage dividers are nicely preserved, yet a corner here of there, or a small rough area keeps it from being excellent (and lots higher in price). These small imperfections do not leap out at you, but we want you to be aware of them as you make your decision. Owning Tahan - a dream. Full measurements are noted on photos - it is large! Stunning old hardwoods, burl veneer, elegant start to finish!