Offered by Franck Baptiste Paris
16th to 19th century furniture and works of art
Rare rectangular inkwell in Boulle marquetry first part*, brass on a background of brown tortoise shell.
The sides « en doucine » are set in brass moulds at the top and bottom.
The four corners are decorated with bronze spandrels in the form of consoles serving as feet. They represent Indian heads with leafy busts.
All sides are decorated with a fine marquetry inspired by the collection of engraving by Jean Bérain (1655-1711), « Diverses Inventions Nouvelles pour des armoiries avec leurs ornements ».
The decoration characteristic of this master is composed of arabesques and an important imaginary bestiary including chimeras, fauna masks, zephyrs, snails or monkeys.
The top features a large concave reserve on a marquetry background, as well as a brass writing set, including a compartment for ink, one for sponge and one for sand.
Good condition, small restorations of use to the marquetry.
Parisian work, Louis XIV period, around 1700.
Width : 29.5 cm ; Depth : 21 cm ; Height : 8 cm
Our view :
The inkwell we present is a luxury model of the greatest rarity. Few people knew how to write in those days, and even fewer could afford such an object. Its decoration in Boulle marquetry is at the forefront of the latest fashion in Paris at the end of the 17th century.
The purity of the lines and the variety of subjects represented, some of which take on human appearances, express the quintessence of the art of Jean Bérain.
The quality of realization reflects the perfect control of the technique of the Boulle marquetry.
If the author of our inkwell is unknown, we can propose the names of BVRB 1er (1670-1738) or Alexandre-Jean Oppenord (1639-1715), who realized this type of tablettery objects. It is obvious that at that time such an object can be heard only among the elite of the nobility. First part* : By superimposing two sheets of veneer during the cutting process, patterns and backgrounds of two different materials are created and reassembled two by two. The first part corresponds to the patterns coming from the first top sheet (often the metal one) with the background of the bottom sheet (often the tortoiseshell one).
1 900 €