Flemish book press, late 17th early 18th century

A Flemish book press dating from the late 17th – early 18th century is up for sale at Christie’s auction of Valuable Books and Manuscripts on 13 July. It is Lot 171.


It is described as follows:

A Flemish ebony-inlaid oak, snakewood and rosewood book press, 158 cm high x 62 cm wide x 53.5cm deep, central spindle supported by panelled styles with vase-shaped finials, above a frieze drawer, the stand with shaped apron and baluster legs, joined by x-shaped stretchers, five oak press boards with walnut edging. (One tip of acanthus leaf missing, some cracking to veneers but without loss, lacking press handle, one press board with remains of glue perhaps from removal of velvet covering.)

Superbly constructed book press in fine condition, reflecting international trade during the Golden Age. It is highly likely that the timbers originate from both the Americas and Far East Asia, which is suggestive of the Low Countries’ trade via the Dutch East India Company in the late 17th / early 18th century. The tradition of ebony inlay in furniture is typical of Dutch and Flemish work at this period.

Estimate £3,000 – £5,000.