Tunbridge Ware - A Fine Large Writing Slope c1850

Heading : Tunbridge Ware - A Large Writing (and possibly drawing) Slope 
Date : c1850
Period : Victorian
Origin : England - possibly Brighton

Decoration : Inlaid parquetry veneers - isometric cubes, six pointed stars and triangular van Dykes; internally, two hinged 'lift up' lids to both the top and bottom sections; the narrower top part is held in place with two small, sliding fasteners - the well underneath is empty; the bottom, unsecured piece covers a deeper recess; there is a raised set of compartments to house two ink wells and a pen tray (which also lifts out); underneath this there is a panel held in place with a sprung fixing which conceals three small 'hidden' drawers; the inside is undecorated other than an impressed gilt arabesque pattern around the edge of the burgundy leather writing/drawing pads, which are affixed to the surface of both lids.
Size : 41.0 cm wide - 14.5 cm high - 25.5 cm deep 
Condition : Very good; the parquetry tiles to the outside are complete though some have slight parallel-grain warping; overall, there are some bumps and bruises, entirely commensurate with age; internally, the leather writing pad is split right across the central hinge; everything else is intact, though perhaps a little tired
Weight : 4164 grams

Notes : This is a behemoth - far larger than the 'standard' and readily identifiable Tunbridge Ware writing slopes of which we have seen many, hence the speculation that it may have been for drawing (on larger sheets of paper). The inlaid veneers are similar to early-period Tunbridge Ware, and demonstrate use of readily identifiable materials which featured in many pieces made in the town (notably the burr walnut pieces); it is known, though, that veneers made by Tunbridge Wells craftsmen were sold wholesale to out of town box-makers to augment their own stock, though any woodworker worth his salt (or perhaps sawdust) would have been able to replicated the process without too much difficulty. The lack of variety in the veneers used to make up the isometric cubes, and the stars, is of a similar nature to examples of work which we have attributed (with some certainty) to the Childs's business in Brighton - a father and son concern in production around the mid 19th century. They were very competent craftsmen in their own right, sustaining a business as cabinet makers and joiners, but were skilled exponents of the dark arts of parquetry.


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  • Product Code: 22060205
  • Availability: 1
  • £495.00

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