81
81
A Russian gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany and ebony cylinder desk
19th Century
JUMP TO LOT
81
A Russian gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany and ebony cylinder desk
19th Century
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection: Important French Furniture and Sèvres Porcelain from the Chester Square Residence, London

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London

A Russian gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany and ebony cylinder desk
19th Century
the balustraded gallery surmounting a panelled top operated by a pull-out hinged leather writing slide revealing twelve gilt-bronze banded drawers above a frieze drawer mounted with a musical trophy cast hinged cover to the escutcheon flanked by adorsed child satyrs blowing horns amidst scrolling flowers and foliage, the central panel between the roll-top mounted with a neo-classical medallion, one depicting Vanity, the other Learning, the sides mounted with military trophies amongst rinceaux, the rear frieze similarly mounted to the front, each corner panelled with neo-classical filled vase, on squared legs with concave corners mounted with laurel and acanthus trails joined by a lyre stretcher, gallery replaced.
102cm. high, 79.5cm. wide, 49cm. deep; 3ft. 4in., 2ft. 7¼in., 1ft. 7¼in.
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Provenance

Christie's, London, 23rd June 1988, lot 132.

Catalogue Note

Comparative Literature:
Pierre Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIII siecle, Dictionnaire des Ebenistes et des Menuisiers, Paris, 1998.
Francis Watson, The Wrightsman Collection: Volume I, New York, 1966.

This piece in mahogany embellished with sumptuous gilt-bronze mounts is very much in the Russian revival style of French Louis XVI furniture which was so popular in Russian at the end of the late 18th and beginnning of the 19th century. Russia often looked to France for its inspiration and it is no coincidence that many French ébénistes and bronziers found work supplying the Russian Court and bourgeoisie with the latest French fashions. It has been suggested that the mounts on the frieze of this bureau were based on a model which was by owned by by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre and distributed by him to various bronziers to cast and gild. Daguerre continued to supply furniture to Russian clients in the early 1790's and this may well explain how a bureau of Russian form came to be mounted with French bronzes.

The frieze mounts on this bureau can be found on furniture supplied by both J.H. Riesener and Adam Weisweiler at the end of the 18th century.  In the Getty museum there is a secrétaire securely attributed to Riesener with the same mounts of scrolling rinceaux and trumpeting infant satyrs which was formerly in the collection of the Duke of Hamilton, who acquired it at the celebrated 1832 sale of George Watson Taylor. The Getty also possesses a porcelain-mounted secrétaire with the same mounts, this time attributed to Weisweiler and formerly in the Rothschild collection.

 

The Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection: Important French Furniture and Sèvres Porcelain from the Chester Square Residence, London

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London