Superb French nineteenth-century rosewood Boulle-work writing slope (including key), Tahan, Paris c. 1870

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  • Superb French nineteenth-century rosewood Boulle-work writing slope (including key), Tahan, Paris


20.0 x 38.0 x 32.0 cm

This superb French nineteenth-century rosewood Boulle-work writing slope (écritoire) is finished with ormolu mounts. It features a curved upper section which opens with the included key to reveal a rosewood fitted interior. This section features stringed brass inlays and the central brass escutcheon. The escutcheon is decorated with ornate floral engraving and inscribed ‘TAHAN, A, PARIS.’ The upper interior compartment includes three serpentine partitions (with dividers) and elaborate fretwork carving. Beneath these partitions are two sections for inkwells, two sloped sections and a removable pen insert.The lower section features a central plate as part of the Boulle-work pattern, with the monogram ‘S.L’. This hinged lower section opens to reveal a writing slope with a red leather insert and stringed brass inlays with an interior hinge that opens to reveal a lower storage compartment.Alphonse Tahan was born in Belgium in 1830 and by the age of 19, he had opened a shop at 30 Rue de la Paix in the heart of Paris. Tahan grew to prominence as a craftsman known for creating beautiful and varied pieces, from the elaborate to the simple. His work, typical of the Second Empire, combined a classical formality reminiscent of the late 1700s with the lavish use of costly materials. He used many techniques including using pieces of cast bronze to simulate bamboo. Tahan eventually caught the eye of Napolean’s wife, Empress Eugenie, and he became the official “ebeniste”(cabinetmaker) to the Emperor and his wife. Her regard for Tahan’s workshop led to great demand for his furniture and smaller items.

Price: $4,500.00

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