When in its closed position, this set of stacked books depicts four historical French books. However, looks can be deceiving, as this trompe l’oeil is actually a charming cave à liqueur that consists of a small decanter with four digestif glasses!
Each book is covered in mottled tan leather, complete with actual paper pages that have been glued and pressed to provide a true-to-life appearance (the middle two books have beige pages, while the top and bottom feature red paper). The top two books lift (with a metal arm that prevents the lid from overextending), revealing an unremovable wooden caddy. Four small cylindrical glasses with gilded rims surround the rectangular decanter that is embellished with gilding on the neck and upper body and topped with a rosette stopper. The interior of the lid has been lined with red paper, allowing the cave to be displayed in an open or closed position in a gentleman’s office, den, or library.
The spines of the books indicate they are based off historical books, two of them centering on religion:
*Catechi de Ghana (unknown publication date) – most likely about converting Ghana to Christianity
*Histoire de Henry VIII (1847) – by M. Audin (Jean-M.-Vincent Audin), detailing the Anglican Schism during Reformation
*Histoire de Moyen Age (1839) – by Gallardin (Casimir Gaillardin), a history of the Middle Ages
*Récits d’autrefois (1901) – by J. Constant (Jean Constant), which recounts stories of the past
CONDITION: Very good antique condition, with light losses to the pages and leather binding. Minor lifting to the paper upholstery.