My collections of decades - this has long been a favorite. This large desktop folio in elegant cognac to chocolate tortoise shell is inlaid and trimmed with the most opulently worked sterling silver. Swag appliqués, and raised outer border (missing 2"), the feel of it is somewhere between French Empire and Louis XVI. The interesting depth of it allows nearly 1/2" of space within the cover for stationery, envelopes to be stored, though there is nothing like a pocket into which one would put them. The old claret red moire silk interior remains, though it's loose from the outer folder of the blotter pages. A blotter was an important desktop item. Using dip pens, it was necessary to blot the writing so ink would not run or filter out from the written words and blur. The blotter pages still show copies of letters or documents which had been blotted within. Blotter pages are 100% rag paper, rather soft and thick, a quicker absorbing paper than writing paper. The bottom half of the folio is leather, and sides have cordovan red leather, though it shows age. I didn't even try to improve it, but I know you can if you choose, using a careful hand and a little cordovan shoe polish on a small rag or q-tip. There is age showing, but it's still such a beauty! Full measurements noted on photos.
Very good for age and type, not excellent. However, a huge panel of old tortoise shell which has no damage is really quite something - and all of that inlay is flat and complete, too. A work of art! The bas relief appliqué swags are complete but the very ribbon ends on the bottom one. And the raised border that holds that outer and irregular form with its narrowing waistline is complete but for a very small section to bottom right. Silk is not stained, but edges show wear and it has come loose from the folder's cover. Needs a reattach. Blotter pages are complete, original, used for the added charm. If you're a pen or wax seal collector or dealer, your collection display really will love you with this. I've had a lot of my portrait miniatures displayed on top in the past.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.