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Antique Victorian Betjemann's Pietra Dura Coromandel Book Slide 19th C

$1,246.63Asking Price


This is a high quality antique Victorian Coromandel Pietra Dura adjustable book slide, by Betjemann's, 19th Century and circa 1870 in date. It is made of stunnning coromandel and features a pair of oval gilt brass mounts enclosing Pietra Dura reserves of flowers, and it is wonderfully decorated with stupendous gilt brass filigree mounts. This amazing book slide was retailed by Furber & Son, of Cheltenham, and bears their engraved brass plaque. FURBER & SON Cheltenham It was made by the renowned maker of patented mechanisms, Betjemann's of Pentonville Road, London, and bears their engraved plaque name and patent number 17849. SELF CLOSING BOOK SLIDE/ 17849/ BETJEMANN'S PATENT It is a delightful object which will display your favourite books beautifully. Condition: In excellent condition with only minor signs of wear commensurate with age and use, having been beautifully cleaned, polished and waxed in our workshops,, please see photos for confirmation. Dimensions in cm: Height 20 x Width 40 x Depth 18 Height 20 x Width 58 x Depth 18 - Extended Dimensions in inches: Height 7.9 x Width 15.7 x Depth 7.1 Height 7.9 x Width 22.8 x Depth 7.1 - Extended Betjemann & Sons From 1859, based at 36-40 Pentonville Road, London, George Betjemann amd his two sons took the art of cabinet, box and book slide making to new heights. They specialised in designs for operating the way that different compartments in vanity boxes opened and also the sprung system for book slides. Pietra dura is a term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, highly polished coloured stones to create images. It is considered a decorative art. Pietre dure is an Italian plural meaning "hard rocks" or hardstones; the singular pietra dura is also encountered in Italian. In Italian, but not in English, the term embraces all gem engraving and hardstone carving, which is the artistic carving of three-dimensional objects in semi-precious stone, normally from a single piece, for example in Chinese jade. The traditional convention in English has been to use the singular pietra dura just to denote multi-colored inlay work. However, in recent years there has been a trend to use pietre dure as a term for the same thing, but not for all of the techniques it covers, in Italian. But the title of a 2008 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe used the full Italian sense of the term, probably because they thought that it had greater brand recognition. The material on the website speaks of objects such as a vase in lapis lazuli as being examples of "hardstone carving (pietre dure)" The Victoria & Albert Museum in London uses both versions on its website, but uses pietra dura. "A method of inlaying coloured marbles or semi-precious stones into a stone base, often in geometric or flower patterns...." Giovanni Montelatici (1864-1930) was an Italian Florentine artist whose brilliant work has been distributed across the world by tourists and collectors. Owners of Giovanni's work included Donald Trump. Coromandel wood or Calamander wood is a valuable wood from India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. It is of a hazel-brown color, with black stripes (or the other way about), very heavy and hard. It is also known as Macassar Ebony or variegated ebony and is closely related to genuine ebony, but is obtained from different species in the same genus; one of these is Diospyros quaesita Thwaites, from Sri Lanka. The name Calamander comes from the local sinhalese name, 'kalu-medhiriya', which means dark chamber; referring to the characteristic ebony black wood. Coromandel wood has been logged to extinction over the last 2 to 3 hundred years and is no longer available for new work in any quantity. Furniture in coromandel is so expensive and so well looked after that even recycling it is an unlikely source. A substitute, Macassar Ebony, has similar characteristics and to the untrained eye is nearly the same but it lacks the depth of colour seen in genuine Coromandel. Our reference: A1089


  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 7.88 in. (20 cm)Width: 22.84 in. (58 cm)Depth: 7.09 in. (18 cm)
  • Style
    Victorian (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1870
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    Seller: A10891stDibs: LU950618512552

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
Platinum Seller
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Established in 1983
1stDibs seller since 2012
762 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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