Late 1700s to earliest 1800s, this elegant "necessaire" desk top slope opens to reveal the original Palais Royal mother of pearl and 18k gold trimmed writer's implements. Inkwells are original, too. Items include the letter opener/paper knife, which as you can see does have a break; eraser tool to scrape the ink error from paper, wax seal without monogram on the matrix; quill knife; stiletto for punching holes in multiple pages of documents which would then be sewn like a modern staple. The tray lifts out for paper, sealing wax storage, and the compartment between inkwells is for pen handles and quills, stylus. Paper interior lining, a mirror in the lid which is surrounded by the original chenille. The mirror is likely a replacement, as the very old ones were thin glass and usually lost silvering. The mirror is excellent in this one. Add the beauty of the fine burled and lemonwood contrasting chest and the presence of both a working lock and its original key - you just can't find these anymore in as good condition, as complete. The box measurements are noted on photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The chest is gorgeous. Not that front top left corner had a small veneer nip, visible in some photos, and repaired in others so you can see it presents quite beautifully for its next owner. Mother of pearl escutcheon and original working key, contrasting burls and hardwood veneers, and raised on small steel bun feet, all typical of late 1700s. The collars on the writing tools are 18k gold, as well. Certainly a selection from the boutiques lining the garden promenade at the old Richelieu Palace: Palais Royal. Scissors have been lost. Relatively standard, a little fun project to find appropriate era replacement set, perhaps. The paper knife/letter opener is broken, as you can see in the photos.