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French Leatherbound Faux Books Liquor Decanter Set, Tantalus
Both charming and functional, this vintage liquor decanter set is hidden inside what appears to be a stack of four leather bound books. Lift the second book, and you find two glass decanters inside, and 2 shot glasses (3 are missing). The square glass decanters with rounded shoulders have attractive gold detailing around the bodies and on their glass stoppers. The stoppers are molded glass and feature an elaborate inset double star design on their domed tops. The stoppers with their glass plugs are in perfect condition - only one tiny nick at the edge of one plug. The two blown glass shot glasses have gold painted rims. Unfortunately the other three glasses have been lost with time. Fortunately, they are of a common enough size and design that they could likely be replaced, should the new owner elect to. It is unusual to find a set like this with places for five glasses (rather than 4 or 6).
The case interior is also in near mint condition, including the paper board cutout frame which holds the glassware, a brick red papered top interior, a long brass frame hinge, and an elbow hinge on the left side. The brass frame hinge is still quite shiny; it may have originally been covered with paper or ribbon. A gold stamp floral design decorates the top and bottom inner frames all around the sides. "Made in France" is stamped in gold at the front center.
The case exterior features four leather covered "books" with extensive gold decorations, and stamped titles: Liguori; Nouveau Commentaire sur Les Livres des Divines Ecritures; Jean Richepin, Miarka; and the fourth we can't quite make out. So, there is a bit of winking humor mixed in with the titles. Case measurements are 8.5" long by 5.5" deep and 5.5" tall. The decanters are 4.5" tall including their domed stoppers. Glasses are 1 7/8" tall and 1 1/4" across the mouth.
There are two torn edges on the spine of the bottom book - one has been repaired, the other measures 1/2" by 3/4" wide. Otherwise there is minimal wear to the cover leather or paper, just some rubbed places along the edges. The books also feature some faux wear to give them an authentic air. The top is adorned with a shield featuring a crown, 3 fleur de lis and a laurel wreath, also stamped in gold. All in all, a nice addition to a collection, and a wonderful conversation piece, in very good to excellent condition, and priced accordingly.
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Michelle L. d'Anjou & Char d'Anjou, Evanston, IL
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