This very charming dressing table accessory would likely have come from one of the boutiques of the famed Palais Royal, whose shops provided all manner of whimsical bauble and box, opaline boxes to 18k gold sewing kits and up to fully fitted out traveling chests for the Royals and elite of the 18th to 19th century worlds. The old Palais Royal stands still today just a stone’s throw from the Louvre in Paris, and has a 21st century reincarnation as a high end retail and theater venue. But the treasures once sold there remain highly collectable and collected among antiques enthusiasts. So it is with such enthusiasm we present this rather unique item, a hand painted mother of pearl parrot on stand, the base of which is padded and surely holder of sick and hat pins. The arms of the stand would serve as ring holders or arm over which to drape bracelets, necklace chains. The item would have been a lovely addition to be admired upon a dressing tray or side table. and will surely thrill its next owner as well. We’d date this one late 1700s to as late as perhaps 1830, but not later. The base is mother roof pearl covered wood in a square, raised on bun feet of brass. More bronze stand intersects a silk velvet padded cushion into which hat or stick pins would be stuck upright. One might even have once used it as a sewing stand, with embroidery scissors on the stand’s arms, hung by the handles, and pins and needles in the pin cushion portion. A thimble could store nicely on the head of the parrot.
Very good condition for age and type, though you can see that much of the original oil painted surface of the parrot has slipped away through the centuries. A very slick surface for paint, mother of pearl is not one to which the paint adheres well, so the old paintings on pearl do not usually survive well. We can see it was once brilliantly painted, however, and enough remains to thrill. The silk velvet is tattered and has lost some of the nap, typical of the age of the fabric. The stand and ormolu and in fine condition, with just the tiniest imperfection on any panel of pearl veneer (look closely at our images). The one notable flaw would be that it seems to me the beak on the bird has been blunted. It might not be a parrot, since the tail is exceptionally long, but surely it might have once had a bit more of a beak than we see today. What a spectacular little treasure - very unique. We’ve never seen another made in this manner.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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