TAHAN, Paris, not unlike Hermés or 19th c. Tiffany, was a company at the very pinnacle of elegance, quality and finest cabinetry. Originally an ebeniste (cabinet maker), they eventually branched out as purveyors of a broad base of luxurious goods. The furniture, the elegant and fabulously appointed boxes, though, were their beginning and the engraved lock plate inside a box like this is golden, adds value and appeal. Not every TAHAN box was signed, and now and then we know we have a TAHAN based on quality alone, but lacking the engraved lock plate. This one, a desk tidy and inkwell box, writer's chest is of magnificent TAHAN quality throughout. As beautiful open and closed, it has a unique serpentine flowing rise to the lid, making all of that brass and parquet and inlaid mother of pearl seem impossible to have done without some popping up over a good century and a half, but just look - as elegant and fine as when it was created, c.1850-70s, Napoleon III era. Both original inkwells are inside. One has dried out ink within, and I just didn't take time to clean it out, but it will clean to clear. I rather like the black and clear so will leave the decision to wash out the residue to its next owner. The pen tray has a slanted smooth fitting to right, so you simply push down on it and it lifts up for removal, a compartment beneath. Plenty of room for your finest pens, nibs, a compartment open for your sealing wax and sceau (seal).
Very good to excellent condition throughout. Stunning fine wood grain, undamaged by time, the veneer is kingwood (long straight grain) and you have an elaborate parquet worked with brass stringing and mother of pearl inlays along with the cross-grain angled squares. A thick brass pencil edging completes it. No finer boxes. This one shines! Likely someone's Grand Tour souvenir. Measurements are noted on our photos.