Antique Victorian Bonheur Du Jour Sevres Plaques C1860
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This is a gorgeous Victorian burr walnut and tulipwood, Bonheur Du Jour, or Ladies writing desk, with Sevres porcelain plaques, circa 1860 in date.
The superstructure comprises a central arched mirror inset door enclosing one shelf, flanked by two rectangular doors enclosing one shelfIt has fabulous ormolu mountsand inlaid banding to highlight the burr walnut and tulipwood. There are three beautiful hand painted Sevres porcelain plaques.
This desk has a large drawer in the base with a gilt tooled green leather slide above it for writing your love letters. The desk has also got a frieze drawer. The whole rests on cabriole legs.
This is an example of superb quality and design.
This writing desk is in its original untouched condition however will be restored prior delivery.
Abonheurdu jour(daytime delight) is a type of lady'swriting desk. It was introduced in Paris by one of the interior decorators and purveyors of fashionable novelties calledmarchands-merciersabout 1760, and speedily became intensely fashionable.
Thebonheurdu jour is always very light and graceful, with a decorated back, since it often did not stand against the wall but was moved about the room. Its special characteristic is a raised back, which may form a littlecabinetor a nest of drawers, or open shelves, which might be closed withatambourmay simply be fitted with a mirror. The top, often surrounded with a chased and gilded bronze gallery, serves for placing small ornaments. Beneath the writing surface there is usually a single drawer, often neatly fitted for toiletries or writing supplies.
Early examples were raised on slendercabriolelegs; under the influence ofneoclassicism, examples made after about 1775 had straight, tapering legs. Themarchand-mercierSimon-PhilippePoirierhadhad the idea of mountingbonheursdu jour with specially-made plaques ofSvresporcelainthatthat he commissioned and for which he had a monopoly; the earliestSvres-mountedbonheurdujoursare datable from the marks under their plaques to 1766-67.The choicer examples of the time are inlaid withmarquetryor panels of Orientallacquer, banded with exotic woods, with gilt-bronze mounts.
By themid-1770sthebonheurdu jour was being made in London, where it was simply called a "lady's writing-desk".
“Burr Walnut” refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produce some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
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