Lot 26
  • 26

A PAIR OF FRENCH RESTAURATION VARNISHED-BRONZE MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL, TINTED HORN, BRASS AND TIN MARQUETRY CABINETS À HAUTEUR D'APPUI, ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE-ETIENNE LEVASSEUR, CIRCA 1830 |

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 EUR
Sold
112,500 EUR
bidding is closed

Description

the Portor marble top above a facade opening with one door veneered inside with ebony, amaranth and satiné, on square tapering legs

Provenance

Sale Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, Hotel Georges V, November 15, 1983, lot 49, sold 1 300 000 francs (this pair of furniture is mentioned as part of a series of four, the other two must be in the collections of the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace)

Catalogue Note

Our pair of cabinets, by their shape, decor and ornament, is in the style of Etienne Levasseur (1721-1798), received master in 1767. First apprentice at the Boulle workshop in the 1740s, where he learns the technique of tortoiseshell and brass marquetry, he is then privileged worker rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine under the sign of "Au Cadran bleu". He delivered almost exclusively his furniture to marchands-merciers, especially to Charles-François Julliot specializing in Boulle marquetry pieces. Probably because of his relationship with a descendant of the famous cabinet maker of Louis XIV André-Charles Boulle, he is led to restore many furniture in copper or brass and tortoiseshell marquetry, but also to create.

With this experience, he receives important orders from the Crown for the castles of Versailles, Fontainebleau or Saint-Cloud, and draws the attention of the Comte d'Artois, providing him with an ebony chest of drawers inlaid with copper and tortoiseshell, bronze ornaments and frames, for its Hôtel du Temple in Paris. It was acquired at the Galerie Charpentier November 30, 1955, then was offered to Versailles by the friends of the castle thanks to a gift of Baroness von Cramm.

Similarly, we know stamped "E. LEVASSEUR" Louis XIV period furniture that he restored, such as the two libraries of the Wallace Collection (F 388 and F 390), or creations Louis XVI re-using panels taken from earlier furniture, such as the support furniture in the Duke of Wellington's collection kept at Stratfield Saye.

At his death in 1798, the workshop was taken over by his son Pierre-Etienne, then by his grandson Pierre-François-Henri said "Levasseur Jeune", where we reproduce the models and décors of the great master Etienne Levasseur.

In fact, dating from the Restoration period, our furniture could be produced by its workshop, both in their design and in their decor. The sheathed legs surmounted by gilt bronze hooves, the foliage patterns of the inlaid tin, brass and tortoiseshell decoration, as well as the acanthus frieze enhanced by gilded bronze beads make us think of it.

For comparison, several examples of firms are to be noted:

- A pair of unstamped cabinets, Louis XVI period, inlaid decoration very similar, and gilt bronze acanthus friezes and legs in identical sheath, sold at Master Ader, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, November 30, 1955, lot 100 Presented again for sale in 1986, it is described as dating from the early nineteenth century, and incorporating panels inlaid Louis XIV period, sold at Sotheby's, Monaco, June 22, 1986, lot 553.

- A pair of small meubles à hauteur d'appui not stamped, attributed to Levasseur Louis XVI, with an identical frieze of gilt bronze acanthus and sheath legs of similar shape, sold at Sotheby's, Monaco, on June 25 and 26, 1983, lot 281.

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