19C British Ladies Brass Pocket Notebook. Pictures do not do a service to this cute…
19C British Coromandel Brass MOP and Abalone Writing Slope or Lap Desk.
ABSOLUTELY EXCEPTIONAL example of a mid 19th Century Writing Slope/Box.
Made circa 1860 from rare and expensive coromandel wood from the Asian colonies of the British Empire.
Inlaid with gorgeous mother of pearl, fantastically cast brass and AMAZING abalone shell.
The abalone is the best we have ever seen….it is like a rainbow kaleidoscope of different colors……blues, greens, browns, purples, gold etc.
The Central cartouche of MOP has the owner’s initials.
It opens to reveal the original green and gilt edged velvet slope. and the two original brass lidded glass ink wells.
The writing slope lifts to reveal a gorgeous satinwood interior.
It has its original key.
This would have been made for a VERY wealthy person in 1860……and it is in Museum quality and condition !!!
The quality of this piece is SIMPLY OUTSTANDING…. the attention to detail is incredible….right down to the brass hardware and hinges….all of whom are finely etched and engraved in floral designs.
COROMANDEL WOOD: Calamander wood or Coromandel wood is a valuable wood from India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and South East Asia. It is of a hazel-brown color, with black stripes (or the other way about), very heavy and hard. It is also known as Macassar Ebony or variegated ebony and is closely related to genuine ebony, but is obtained from different species in the same genus; one of these is Diospyros quaesita Thwaites, from Sri Lanka. The name Calamander comes from the local sinhalese name, ‘kalu-medhiriya’, which means dark chamber; referring to the characteristic ebony black wood. It is used in furniture, Luthiery and for sculpture.
Coromandel wood has been logged to extinction over the last 2 to 3 hundred years and is no longer available for new work in any quantity. Furniture in coromandel is so expensive and so well looked after that even recycling it is an unlikely source. A substitute, Macassar Ebony, has similar characteristics and to the untrained eye is nearly the same but it lacks the depth of colour seen in genuine Coromandel.
LAP DESK: As an antique the lap desk is a smaller variant of the writing slope. It is also called a writing box or a writing cabinet. In certain instances it is known as a portable desk, a term which is usually applied to larger forms. Most antique lap desks are really meant to be used on a table or some other stable surface. They are often strongly built of fine hardwoods like mahogany or walnut.
Antique lap desks had hinged writing surfaces, often covered in leather, felt, or other material, that flip up to reveal storage space for papers. Individual compartments were designed to hold inkwells, pens, sealing wax, and other contemporary writing materials. Some desks also had concealed storage compartments.
19C British Coromandel Brass MOP and Abalone Writing Slope.
Dimensions: 13.9″ Wide, 9.75″ deep and 4.15″ tall
Provenance: Bought at Portobello Antiques Market in London.