Ebonized Florentine Bonheur du Jour
59.5" x 31.5" x 17"
This 19th-century Florentine cabinet is made from ebonized wood with detailed bone inlay. The scrolled upper-section is crowned with a wheat sheaf. The lower cabinet is outfitted with glass hardware and more detailed bone inlay. One of the legs has been repaired.The centrepiece includes a framed vase with pomegranates and flowers, created in bone. The pomegranate commonly symbolizes desire, fertility, marriage, resurrection, and immortality. In mythology, the pomegranate is an attribute of Venus and is frequently associated with Proserpina. Hades abducts Proserpina to the Underworld, and while captive, Proserpina eats pomegranate seeds, which condemns her to spend part of each year with Hades. Pomegranates appear in Christian imagery too, where they adopt a similar meaning. Christ sometimes holds pomegranates, which most often signifies his sweetness or represents his ultimate sacrifice. A bonheur du jour, meaning “daytime delight,” was a type of writing desk for women, which first became popular in 18th-century Paris, but was soon found across most European countries. Such desks were located in bedrooms or sitting rooms, and were used for letter writing or contained toiletries. Designed to be portable, a bonheur du jour often contains a raised back with shelves or mirrors, which means it can be moved throughout a room, and does not need to reside against a wall.