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Rarewares, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 10710
Experience:  Antiques dealer for over 10 years specializing in porcelain, glass, art, furniture, coins, watches, sterling silver, pocket watches, and jewelry.
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Can you help me figure out the origin and age of this large

Customer Question

Can you help me figure out the origin and age of this large desk blotter?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

Could you send a few more photos; one of the bottom, and one at an angle, maybe one with something (pen) on it so I can get an idea of proportion. Let me know a little about how you came to own it as well.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am trying to send you more photos, but the desktop is not cooperating. It is about 15"x24'. it was in the library of our castle in France, with castle stationery and a 1920s French magazine inside. It is simply a leather-bound folder with nice gilt patterned edging around the inside edge, a plain navy blue back cover and the front, as shown. It could be new or it could be from my Bonaparte ancestors, or my British ancestors or even my American revolution ancestors. Or it could have been presented to my grandfather or great-grandfather during their diplomatic careers from WWI-1970, with emphasis on pre-war Hungary, Holland and Paris. I am curious about the animal dangling from the crest on the front. It looks like a dead goat... Rather odd, but a pretty piece. I am trying to separate some of the Bonaparte (my gret x 4 grandfather King Louis VI of Holland and his son Emp Napoleon III periods) from all the other antiques I have in my house here in the sticks for an exhibit where they will be displayed in Sydney and my expertise, unfortunately, is in Near Eastern archaeology, so all these modern things are a mystery to me. The Australian Art and Antiques Dealers' Association, who asked if I would lend them jewelry, porcelain, paintings, crystal and other Bonaparte-related items seem to know less than I do, but if I have to give a talk to a bunch of strangers at a large conference, I do want to be able to speak with a bit of confidence. If it is from the right area and period, this blotter would just be a background ambience sort of piece, along with a few 18th and 19th c. books, portraits, etc. to help recreate a bit of the scene in a watercolour by Jean-Baptiste Fortune de Fournier of my great x 3 grandmother's bedroom in Paris. But I have no idea of its date, only that it comes from the castle and has been around for all I remember of my 50 years.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for all of the extra info. You can also email pictures to***@******.*** and put FOR RAREWARES IN ANTIQUES in the subject line so that they will get forwarded to me. This method takes a bit longer, so thank you in advance for some patience.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I just sent a few photos via email. We shall see if you get them!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ah, now it is letting me add photos. See attached.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, just making sure you received the attached. photos. What animal is that dangling there? A bear? It really looks strange to me.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.


I have not been able to find a match for you.The mark is a heraldic crest, but I am not able to figure the country of origin or family name connected with it. I have also added the files that you emailed so that the next expert can see them.

Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

photo 2

Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

photo 3

Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

photo 4

Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.

photo 5

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am so sorry to have done this to you twice in a row! Can I praise you somewhere for your extensive effort? I do appreciate it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,Could someone please look into this question or else, could you credit the question so I can ask a different one? Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I thought you might be interested to know what I have figured out with a bit of digging. The hanging animal represents the Order of the Golden Fleece. I searched and my great x 4 grandfather, King Louis Bonaparte of Holland was a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. I also have a 22ct. gold stickpin with a ram's head on it. So I think it is safe to conclude that this was his crest and the pin was his too.