1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bonheur du Jour

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BONHEUR DU JOUR, the name for a lady's writing-desk, so called because, when it was introduced in France about 1760, it speedily became intensely fashionable. The bonheur du jour is always very light and graceful; its special characteristic is a raised back, which may form a little cabinet or a nest of drawers, 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. The details vary greatly, but the general characteristics are always traceable. The bonheur du jour has never been so delicate, so charming, so coquettish as in the quarter of a century which followed its introduction. The choicer examples of the time are inlaid with marqueterie, edged with exotic woods, set in gilded bronze, or enriched with panels of Oriental lacquer.