The set, which is still in its original leather-bound wooden box, consists of a letter opener and desk wax seal made from lapis stone and 14 karat gold. The seal does not have any carved crest or monogram stamp and so is smooth lapis on the stamp end. The letter opener and desk seal are ornately decorated with gold winged cherubs and intricate, hand-applied Etruscan beading, granulation and engravings accented with bands of natural pearls. The craftsmanship shown in the detail work on this set is exquisite, and this is true without hyperbole-- it is fit for a king! As befitting royalty, the Lapis Lazuli handles of both the letter opener and desk seal are of the highest quality lapis stone with deep azure blue color lightly flecked with golden pyrite and a modest amount of natural veining.
There are no hallmarks by the maker on the knife or seal, but the inside box cover is stamped in gold with a crown and "G Merk Hof-Juwelier". On the outside of the box, on the bottom, is an old stick-on label, likely mid-1900's that reads, "Desk set made for King Ludwig of Bavaria belonged to my grandmother Austin", signed "Mother".
The condition of the set is very good. The knife and seal display beautifully and are entirely functional. There is some tarnish and oxidation to the gold which we have left in order to preserve its authentic, antique patina.
The letter opener has a nice, sharp cutting edge and all of the applied gold work and engravings are flawless. One pearl is missing from its setting on the desk seal, which you might decide to have replaced, but the other 35 pearls are intact on the seal and all are present on the handle of the letter opener. Also on the seal, there are two natural veins in the lapis stone which are visible on the outside, but these are original to the piece and are not pitted nor split. We see no damages and no repairs on either the seal or the letter opener. The box is worn both inside and out, and the leather cover is cracked and shedding.
The latch still locks but is not perfectly aligned. You will notice an indentation on the inside velvet where a matching ink pen was part of this set.Length of letter opener: 6 1/8 inches Length of desk seal: 2 3/4 inches Box dimensions: About 7 1/16 inches long by 3 3/4 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches high Weight of letter opener: 45 grams Weight of desk seal: 36.4 grams tm. Powered by SixBit's eCommerce Solution.
The item "14k Gold Lapis Desk Set King Ludwig of Bavaria Seal & Letter Opener Original Box" is in sale since Wednesday, December 11, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Decorative Arts\Metalware". The seller is "essexjewelryandantiques" and is located in Essex, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide. Merk