This is the binder or cover for a Victorian desktop 'blotter'. The blotter was a requisite tool when quill pens were used. A penned letter or document was pressed between sheets of blotter paper within, which absorbed any extra ink and would keep the document from smearing. The old papier mache covers for those blotter sheets of paper make lovely stationery folders or covers now and are a fine accent for your desktop or for a guest room if you tuck in some nice stationery for your guests' use. The inlays of mother of pearl are all intact on this one, which is rather rare.
Very good condition for age and type. These types of papier mache items would have been oil painted originally as flowers and leaves, and the pearl would shimmer a bit of light and color through the loosely painted florals. The paint on these is mostly lost to the years, and only the mother of pearl marquetry is there to decorate this one, but that is most pleasing, as well. The mother of pearl cabochons you see are the 'feet' onto which the opened folio rests in order not to damage the cartouche bouquet's paint. Some light nips to the corners on this one, which is quite typical. The leather spine shows its age and use. The interior paper liner is the old original and shows some darkening at edges. The folded pages of blotter paper that would have been sewn into a booklet-like pad and inserted within no longer remains. It's simple to replace that, and blotter paper is still sold in art supply stores. It's just a soft cotton rag paper, rather thick, very absorbent. Charming even though used, it's nearly 170 years old, worthy of showing some age. Priced accordingly. No cracks.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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