Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860
Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860
Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860
Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860
Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860

Antique Victorian Walnut Inlaid Bonheur Du Jour circa 1860

c. 1860 England

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This is a gorgeous Victorian burr walnut with hand painted Sevres porcelain plaques, Bonheur Du Jour, or Ladies writing desk, circa 1860 in date. This is an example of superb quality and design.

The gorgeous grain and colour of the burr walnut, and the multitude of hand painted Sevres porcelain plaques ensures that this desk will get noticed wherever it is placed. It has fabulous ormolu mounts with ebonised and inlaid banding to highlight the burr walnut.

This desk has a large drawer in the base with a leathered slide for writing.

Measurements:

148 cm high x 124 cm wide x 56 cm deep



Condition:

Excellent condition and has been well cared for. Please see photographs to confirm condition.



A bonheur du jour (in French, bonheur-du-jour, meaning "daytime delight") is a type of lady's writing desk. It was introduced in Paris by one of the interior decorators and purveyors of fashionable novelties called marchands-merciers about 1760, and speedily became intensely fashionable.

The bonheur du 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 little cabinet or a nest of drawers, or open shelves, which might be closed with atambour may 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 slender cabriole legs; under the influence of neoclassicism, examples made after about 1775 had straight, tapering legs. The marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirierhad had the idea of mounting bonheurs du jour with specially-made plaques of Sèvres porcelainthat that he commissioned and for which he had a monopoly; the earliest Sèvres-mounted bonheur du jours are datable from the marks under their plaques to 1766-67. The choicer examples of the time are inlaid with marquetry or panels of Oriental lacquer, banded with exotic woods, with gilt-bronze mounts.

By the mid-1770s the bonheur du 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.
Stock Code
04170
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