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Exceptional Regency Bonheur Du Jour Attributed To John Maclean


£12,900 | $17,977 USD | €15,034 EUR
Item Number: SA750940
Date of manufacture: 19th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Box House Antiques
This antique has been viewed 44 times in the past month with the most views from France.


An exceptional English Regency-period bonheur du jour attributed to John Maclean, ca 1810.
A fine early 19th century rosewood and brass-inlaid bonheur du jour or writing desk, of the highest quality.
Of lovely colour and patina. In superb condition throughout.
John McLean (born 1770, died 1825) was an English furniture- and cabinet-maker and designer. He was recognised as one of the best of his era, representing the best in English cabinet making. Examples of his furniture can be found in the Victorian and Albert Museum, The California Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Library at Saltram, Devon.[1]
The origins of the McLean firm is somewhat confused by the many variations in spelling the name 'McLean'. "John MacKlane, upholder and cabinet maker in Little Newport Street, off Leicester Square" is listed in 1774.[2]
^ "Sale of exceptionally Rare Regency Brass-Mounted Rosewood Table". Thomas Coulborn & Sons.
^ Jump up to: a b The London furniture makers: from the Restoration to the Victorian Era, 1660-1840
^ Jump up to: a b c Simon Redburn, John McLean and Son, Furniture History
^ "Fine Regency Gilded & Gilt Brass Rio Rosewood Canterbury by JOHN MCLEAN & SON - Freshfords Fine Antiques". Retrieved 2017-03-05
A bonheur du jour (French, meaning "daytime delight") is a type of lady's writing desk. It was introduced in Paris by one of the interior decorators and purveyors of fashionable novelties called marchands-merciers about 1760, and speedily became intensely fashionable.[1] The bonheur du jour is always very light and graceful,[2] with a decorated back, since it often did not stand against the wall (meuble meublant) but was moved about the room (meuble volant); its special characteristic is a raised back, which may form a little cabinet or a nest of drawers, or open shelves, which might be closed with a tambour, or may simply be fitted with a mirror. The top, often surrounded with a chased and gilded bronze gallery, serves for placing small ornaments. Beneath the writing surface there is usually a single drawer,[2] often neatly fitted for toiletries or writing supplies. Early examples were raised on slender cabriole legs; under the influence of neoclassicism, examples made after about 1775 had straight, tapering legs.
Nb. A very similar bonheur du jour also attributed to John Maclean was sold at 'Tom Devenish: The Collection - Highly Important English Furniture', Sotheby’s, New York, 24th April 2008 lot 176 for US$37,000.
An English Regency period brass-mounted library table attributed to John Maclean was sold by Christies, 18th June 2008, for £109,250
Vis. A Life's Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs T.S. Eliot. Christie's London, 20 November 2013. A Regency brass-mounted rosewood side table - ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN MACLEAN, CIRCA 1810 - Price realised: GBP 20,000.
Est. 1957
Internal Ref: BHA1148


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 19th Century.


Height = 106.5 cm (41.9")
Width = 72 cm (28.3")
Depth = 46.5 cm (18.3")

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Box House Antiques
United Kingdom

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