Beautiful antique lap desk or writing slope, probably English, of fine papier mache, black with inlaid mother of pearl (MOP) and hand painted flowers. Although unsigned, it sure resembles the work of Jennings & Bettridge. It measures approximately 10" by 13" and is 4 & 1/4" tall at the back of the slope. The top is particularly beautiful, with the lovely lustrous mother of pearl on the four corners, the elaborate centerpiece and the oval border around the center. Lovely subtle handpainted flowers in the center, with touches at the corner areas. The papier mache is in very good condition, some age wear of course, but no significant damage, some minor warping underneath the lock, could be an old repair, just not sure. It does have the original key. The inside has the original red velvet, and the interior is clean and fresh. The inkwells are gone, but otherwise it is in much better condition than most we see for sale. The photos to not do justice to this piece, it is twice as beautiful as they show.
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