Antique French Opaline Blue 'Egg' Ink Well Stand, Palais Royal of Paris, c. 1780-1840
Nested in the center between two matching blue opaline inkpots, the egg-shaped center bowl is guarded by putti, and has ornate ormolu archs over the beautiful old desk stand and inkwells, this one is a much sought after form and color, this rich 'Sevres' or 'Celeste' blue being one of the most loved of all opalines. We've been selling our opalines back to France and to French collectors and dealers, so all things come and go in their own circles in time, don't they. But we know when the French are buying them again, that means lots of tourists have been buying their inventory at MUCH higher prices. So be very brilliant and buy here, don't worry about breaking your souvenir on the way home from your Paris trip, having spent double our price. It's just economical to do so, non? ; ) Seriously, it is what happens, and dealers do buy from other dealers as their market inventory is selling out. I know of several lovely shops in Paris, 2 at the big Paris Flea Market and another at the Louvre Antiquaires - well and one at the Suisse Villages Shops, too, that are stocked and priced much higher than we've been selling out ours at these past few years. But enough about bargain opalines! This one is suberb, with high gold finish gold wire and ormolu leaves encasing it. The larger size is also appealing. Imagine these filling the windows of the boutiques along the inner garden promenade of the old Palais Royal, where they originally would have been shown. We've written much over time about the Palais Royal's lauded history and it's fine goods, but suffice it to say that it was once the Palace of Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642), and later became simply the Palais Royal, center of luxury goods, dining and theatre for the Royals, Elite of the old world. The final image I'll load here is an 1725 intaglio print I own that shows some event in that Palais Royal, just to put you in the mood for this lovely old Palais Royal item. It is not included, and is a treasure I intend to keep, but it shows just one event held therein for the society it catered to for hundreds of years. The luxurious items that survived the years since they were first offered therein have come to be known simply as 'Palais Royal' items, and the opalines certainly are among those of highest allure. Collect and group them - they're marvelous on desktop (such as this inkwell), tables (in service), in vitrines (they capture light beautifully), on dressing table (use for your jewelry at night). You'll want more than one!
Very good to excellent condition throughout. I see nothing by way of a flaw to note for you. The opaline glass is exquisite on this one, as is the ormolu framework. Finest quality!