Magnificent antique French Napoleon III era TAHAN marked 13.25" wide writer's box, lap desk or "ecritoire" (yes, that's how it's spelled in France) with richly burled walnut veneers, ebony & brass edging, gorgeous boulle style cartouches with incised royal crown & "ME" monogram and all in fabulous condition! A superb old beauty that came directly to us from France and hails from the Napoleon III era (c. 1850-70, approximately), a period of highest aesthetic in boxes and chests, caskets, rich with the skills of Master ebenistes, (ebaniste) work. Those are the furniture and cabinetry tradesmen in France and the era brought forth a myriad of the finest old boxes. I've been a box collector from way way back, and these rise above all in my opinion. The boulle style cartouches are just exquisite in this one, set with inlays that are just striking against the ebony veneers and richly burled old hardwoods. A beautiful museum quality decorative piece, the inside of the lock marked "TAHAN, Boul. des Italiens, 11".
TAHAN. That signature elevates the price and value for collectors, so this one has the aesthetic AND the mark of one of France's finest. Makers to the King, and to Royals of Europe, the elite of the world, if only we had the rich history this chest could tell us. Alas, like almost everything that comes to market, no story but the one we know of history of the time, the quality, the inherent beauty that arrives intact as it is to us today. One of two exceptional antique writer's boxes that we're adding this week, the other unmarked but gorgeous with a royal crown-topped "ME" monogrammed cartouche, so be sure to browse some while you're with us. We have a large collection of antique writing related treasures, inkwells, boxes, wax seals and more. Thanks!
Very good condition for age and type. A very few slight flaws possible but, as you can see, it's really as fine as they come. The interior is also veneered in finished rosewood throughout with a rear divided area for your inkwells and center pens, etc., a covered "hidden" compartment in the upper portion of the writing surface for larger correspondence and your special letters (perhaps bound in an emerald green silk ribbon - love letters come to mind). Some things we've lost to the digital age, much to our collective dismay, right? The inkwell may not be original (but of similar age) and there is a split in the royal blue velvet writing surface. Working lock with key. The front folding panel of the box has a very slight upward bend where it meets the rear covered/locking lid so it can open even when locked. See pictures for measurements.
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