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Antique Writing box veneered in saw cut ebony veneer inlaid with mother of pearl circa 1840.

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Reference:  WB 468

Description:
WB468: Writing box veneered in saw cut ebony veneer inlaid with mother of pearl circa 1840.
This box is of outstanding quality. The beautifully iridescent mother of pearl enlivens the austere ebony which in turn provides a complimentary background with its subtle dark sheen. The design is of stylised flora which refers to the neoclassical tradition of the late 18th and early 19th century, but looks forward to the later period with its undulations and loops which suggest real plant growth. The pattern with its swirling symmetry suggests the moment in aesthetic history when the poise of neoclassicism was injected with the energy of naturalism, without losing control of design or tightness of execution. The flowers and leaves are exquisite. There are small sunflowers and acanthus leaves and a stylised split acanthus with a diamond shape in the centre of the ebony. The acanthus is a classical motif, but here it takes its place in a rich and vibrant design intermingling with trellised and swirling plant life. The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.

The inside of the box is also made with meticulous care. The ebony surround and the pen- well lid are also inlaid with a pattern of stylised flora. There are two original  inkwells. The writing surface is covered in the original red embossed velvet. The hinges lock and catches are silver plated with signs of wear.
Inside the box is finished in satinwood. There are three secret drawers in mahogany and ebony.
There are flat folding brass handles on the sides of the box, a feature popular in the early part of the 19th century.
There is a crack at the bottom of the inside of the box.

Origin:

Circa: 1840


Size: 40.8 cm by 25.1 cm by 15.5 cm: 16 inches by 10 inches by 6.1 inches.

Condition:

 

WB468: Writing box veneered in saw cut ebony veneer inlaid with mother of pearl circa 1840. This box is of outstanding quality. The beautifully iridescent mother of pearl enlivens the austere ebony which in turn provides a complimentary background with its subtle dark sheen. The design is of stylised flora which refers to the neoclassical tradition of the late 18th and early 19th century, but looks forward to the later period with its undulations and loops which suggest real plant growth. The pattern with its swirling symmetry suggests the moment in aesthetic history when the poise of neoclassicism was injected with the energy of naturalism, without losing control of design or tightness of execution. The flowers and leaves are exquisite. There are small sunflowers and acanthus leaves and a stylised split acanthus with a diamond shape in the centre of the ebony. The acanthus is a classical motif, but here it takes its place in a rich and vibrant design intermingling with trellised and swirling plant life. The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.  Enlarge Picture

The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.

 

WB468: Writing box veneered in saw cut ebony veneer inlaid with mother of pearl circa 1840. This box is of outstanding quality. The beautifully iridescent mother of pearl enlivens the austere ebony which in turn provides a complimentary background with its subtle dark sheen. The design is of stylised flora which refers to the neoclassical tradition of the late 18th and early 19th century, but looks forward to the later period with its undulations and loops which suggest real plant growth. The pattern with its swirling symmetry suggests the moment in aesthetic history when the poise of neoclassicism was injected with the energy of naturalism, without losing control of design or tightness of execution. The flowers and leaves are exquisite. There are small sunflowers and acanthus leaves and a stylised split acanthus with a diamond shape in the centre of the ebony. The acanthus is a classical motif, but here it takes its place in a rich and vibrant design intermingling with trellised and swirling plant life. The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.   Enlarge Picture

see figure Figure 502  and 69  of  Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880 
Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly,
ISBN: 0764316885

 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

WB468: Writing box veneered in saw cut ebony veneer inlaid with mother of pearl circa 1840. This box is of outstanding quality. The beautifully iridescent mother of pearl enlivens the austere ebony which in turn provides a complimentary background with its subtle dark sheen. The design is of stylised flora which refers to the neoclassical tradition of the late 18th and early 19th century, but looks forward to the later period with its undulations and loops which suggest real plant growth. The pattern with its swirling symmetry suggests the moment in aesthetic history when the poise of neoclassicism was injected with the energy of naturalism, without losing control of design or tightness of execution. The flowers and leaves are exquisite. There are small sunflowers and acanthus leaves and a stylised split acanthus with a diamond shape in the centre of the ebony. The acanthus is a classical motif, but here it takes its place in a rich and vibrant design intermingling with trellised and swirling plant life. The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.   Enlarge Picture

The inside of the box is also made with meticulous care. The ebony surround and the pen- well lid are also inlaid with a pattern of stylised flora. There are two original  inkwells. The writing surface is covered in the original red embossed velvet. The hinges lock and catches are silver plated with signs of wear.

 

The central design forms a diamond made up of four triangles centred by a circle. The triangles are a tour de force of symmetry, a true technical feat. The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time. The lines which form the design are very delicate and yet they build up to a pattern of strength and vitality.

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

The rounded floral motifs are contained within the straight lines of the overall design. The stems are incredibly thin as are many of the other elements which form the flowers and leaves. Bearing in mind that ebony and shell are very hard materials, such work requires skill of the highest calibre and a considerable amount of time.

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

The inside of the box is also made with meticulous care. The ebony surround and the pen- well lid are also inlaid with a pattern of stylised flora. There are two original  inkwells. The writing surface is covered in the original red embossed velvet. The hinges lock and catches are silver plated with signs of wear.

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Inside the box is finished in satinwood. 

There are three secret drawers in mahogany and ebony.

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

 

 

There are flat folding brass handles on the sides of the box, a feature popular in the early part of the 19th century.

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show   | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show   | thumbnail index |

There are two original  inkwells.

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 The box has three secret drawers concealed behind a sprung satinwood panel.

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Please click on images to enlarge|  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Request current  list of available writing boxes.

News | Buyingemail Online History of boxes | The Schiffer Book

 

All text and images and linked images are 1999-2009 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com