685
685
A gilt-bronze mounted amaranth, tulipwood, sycamore, stained sycamore, boxwood and ivory marquetry writing table, late Louis XV
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685
A gilt-bronze mounted amaranth, tulipwood, sycamore, stained sycamore, boxwood and ivory marquetry writing table, late Louis XV
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Une Dynastie Américaine en Europe - Collections Eleanor Post Close & Antal Post de Bekessy

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Paris

A gilt-bronze mounted amaranth, tulipwood, sycamore, stained sycamore, boxwood and ivory marquetry writing table, late Louis XV
the sliding galleried top above a writing slide inset with green baize, above a frieze drawer opening to reveal three compartments and three smaller drawers, the whole inlaid with trophies, on cabriole legs ending in paw feet; (originally with a stretcher; the feet mounts replaced)
Haut. 71 cm., long. 55 cm., prof. 36 cm. ; Height 28in., width 21⅔in., depth 14¼in.
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Literature

Literature:
F. J. B. Watson, "The Paris collections of Madame B.", in The Connoisseur. An illustrated magazine for Collectors, London, vol. 155, January-April 1964, p. 2 (ill.)

Catalogue Note

This writing table can be considered a cabinet making masterpiece, demonstrated through the construction of the table, the use of high quality mounts, the choice of wood, such as solid mahogany for the drawers, and in particular, the excellence of the marquetry. The marquetry can especially be appreciated on the panels of the lower drawers, which having been well conserved by not being exposed to harmful light, have thereby kept their original colour and not undergone any alterations since the 1770’s.

The marquetry was inspired by engravings published circa 1775 and are similar to the fishing and hunting trophies of Delafosse, engraved by Tardieu. The diversified ornamental repertoire used here announces the return of the taste for the antique, with elements such as the neoclassical vases on the frieze, combined with the more traditional designs of flowers and foliate scrolls within complex geometric frames. The precision of the marquetry, as well as the neatness of the engravings can be found on a ‘secrétaire à abattant’ stamped Schlichtig, sold Artcurial, Paris, 18 June 2013, lot 183. This ‘secrétaire’ has, as with our table, some ivory inlays which contrast with the adjacent veneer.

It is difficult to formally identify the craftsman who produced the marquetry on our table, but the impeccable technique, as well as the realism of the designs, tend to prove that he was highly specialised and able to provide marquetry panels to the renowned cabinet-makers and marchands-merciers of the time. The names of Louis-Noël Malle, Christopher Wolff, or André Louis Gilbert come to mind and Théodore Dell discussing a table exhibited in the Frick Collection, New York and stamped Malle, suggests that the latter, like his fellow cabinet makers, may have worked with subcontractors who specialised in marquetry panels.

Une Dynastie Américaine en Europe - Collections Eleanor Post Close & Antal Post de Bekessy

|
Paris