Relevant categories: Desks
(Above photo - Antique French Desk - Walnut Bonheur De Jour 1860 )
A bonheur du jour is a variety of a lady’s writing desk with drawers, a top, and a pair of cabinets. It first appeared on the scene in Paris in 1760 due to the work of merchands-merciers or fashionable interior decorators. It did not take long before homeowners in France began to install it in their homes. We are talking about a light, elegant piece of furniture with a highly embellished back meant to be displayed. That’s because the bonheur du jour wasn’t meant to sit against the wall but was moved all over the room.
(Above photo - Victorian Bonheur Du Jour Desk Writing Table Rosewood 1880 )
A bonheur du jour comes with several features, including the writing surface, drawers, and other storage spaces. Here is a brief description of the characteristics of this particular piece of furniture:
Storage compartments in one block sitting on the back of the top. In most cases, the storage compartments are partially enclosed.
Other storage options include drawers, shelves, and cupboards
Often had a decorative ormolu or brass gallery to make the piece of furniture even more elegant.
Slender cabriole legs standing high and joined together with a shelf, which acts as a stretcher.
A frieze (of the decorative horizontal band) with a drawer
A drawer under the writing surface for storing writing supplies and toiletries
A top decorated by a gilded or chase bronze gallery. It is used to hold small ornaments.
(Above photo - Antique French Desk - Walnut Bonheur De Jour ladies Desk Circa 1880 )
As we have already stated, the bonheur du jour first appeared to the Parisian scene in 1760 as a result of work by merchands-merciers. Simone Phillippe was one such merchand-mercier and is credited with making bonheur du jours with special Sevres porcelain plaques. It is estimated that the earliest bonheur du jour with Sevres were first produced between 1766 and 1767. Apart from porcelain plaques, some bonheur du jour were decorated with oriental lacquer panels or marquetry. Other has exotic wood bands and gilt bronze mounts to make them as beautiful as possible.
Even though it started in France, the bonheur du jour became a choice product for British manufacturers from the 1770s. Here, the name bonheur du jour was discarded, and the more straightforward “lady’s writing desk adopted. In the home, the desk would mostly be found in the lady’s bedroom, where it was used to serve breakfast and write letters. Surprising as it might seem, 18th-century ladies had no qualms spending hours writing letters.
(Above photo - Also referred to as a Ladies Desk )
Are you looking to buy a Bonheur du jour? These pieces of furniture are available in various places, both online and in-store. You can find beautiful antique pieces of furniture that can help you decorate your home. The furniture pieces are also great for serving various purposes including taking center stage in your home office. They can become great centerpieces, given the care that has gone into making the Bonheur du jour. We have several antique Bonheur du jour in our store. Our expert evaluators can help you choose the best possible among these.
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