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Antique Victorian Rosewood & Ormolu Envelope Card Table C.1880

Antique Victorian Rosewood & Ormolu Envelope Card Table C.1880

Antique Victorian Rosewood & Ormolu Envelope Card Table C.1880


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About this item

This is a beautiful antique Victorian rosewood and ormolu mounted envelope card table, circa 1880 in date.

The card table is made from superb quality rosewood, has the most striking musical instrument inlay on each leaf and  superb gilded ormolu mounts.

The top opens like an envelope, hence the name, and the interior is lined with green baize.

It has a useful drawer to hold your playing and score cards etc, and stands on elegant cabriole tapering  legs that terminate in ormolu sabots.

The quality and attention to detail throughout is second to none.

In pristine fully restored condition.


In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.



Dimensions in cm:

Height 76 x Width 80 x Depth 80 - open

Height 76 x Width 60 x Depth 60 - closed

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 6 inches x Width 2 feet, 7 inches x Depth 2 feet, 7 inches - open

Height 2 feet, 6 inches x Width 2 feet x Depth 2 feet - closed

is a rich warm reddish brown wood that has a distinct grain with dark brown and black outlining. One variety of Rosewood can vary significantly from another even though it is of the same species. These Rosewoods, native of India, South East Asia and Brazil, were dense and awkward to work with. It was renowned for quickly bluntening cutting tools and visibly darkening in colour when over prepared.

The Brazilian species of Rosewood was by far the most beautifully figured and therefore it became the most sought after and rare. This was the wood of choice for the great box makers, David and Thomas Edwards who used it to veneer some of their finest pieces.

Ormolu - (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.


No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).



W80.0 x H76.0 x D80.0 cm



Date of manufacture





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