Fabulous large antique French Napoleon III or Victorian era 15.75" wide writer's box, escritoire or lap desk, a marked TAHAN of Paris work of cabinetry art with richly burled veneers, kingwood & brass marquetry style inlay and wonderful condition! 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 remain but with no tops), 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 contrasting ebonized strips and trim, all aspects of finest quality, and this one with an olive green colored tooled leather writer's surface which appears to be original. All of that said, and noting the lock plate is engraved TAHAN A PARIS (maker to the Emperor - which would have been Emperor Napoleon III). A wonderful decorative piece!
Very good condition. There are a few small sections of the thinnest brass strip inlay missing from the serpentine shaped top lid, along the outer sides and visible in the images. As noted, the tooled writing surface appears to be original but one can never tell, possibly a custom made replacement over the years but actually more attracting than the normal velvet covered surfaces. Two inkwells remain, possibly original, possibly not and neither has a lid. Working lock & key and all stationery slots inside are intact and free of any damage that I can see. See images for all measurements.