A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY
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Property of an Important European Collection

A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP

Property of an Important European Collection

A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP

Lot Sold:50,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

Property of an Important European Collection

A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT BUREAUX, LOMBARDY MID-18TH CENTURY


each with sloping front opening to reveal a fitted interior flanked by scrolling brackets, above a small drawer and three large drawers, with scalloped moulded apron and short splayed feet

123cm. high, 126.5cm. wide, 59cm. deep; 4ft.½in., 4ft. 1¾in., 1ft. 11¼in.

Condition Report

These very impressive pieces are in overall good conserved condition. One with two back feet which have been broken and repaired. Both with repairs to mouldings and veneers. One with a split to the left side which has been repaired and is barely visible. Very minor losses to veneers throughout. Minor old marks and scratches consistent with age and use. Metalwork apparently original. These are very impressive pieces with rich veneers and now ready to be placed.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Cataloguing

Provenance

Villa Visconti Alari, Cernusco sul Naviglio;

Private Collection, Milan.

Literature

C. Alberici, Il mobile lombardo, Milan, 1966, p. 101, illustrated.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

S. Colombo, L'arte del mobile in Italia, Milan, 1975, figs. 469/470.

A. Disertori and A. M. Necchi Disertori, Il mobile lombardo, Milan, 1992.


Catalogue Note

These bureaux showcase the skills of 18th century Lombardian cabinet makers whose creativity, notably channeled through their expertise of the inlay technique, reached a peak towards the middle and end of the century. In general, Lombardian bureaux distinguished themselves for their veneers in walnut, the delicate decoration of the cartouches and for their characteristic shape. This pair of impressive bureaux are particularly eye-catching for the subtle transitions from walnut to burr-walnut further punctuated by delicate mouldings adding more character and elegance to the pieces. 


The present type of bureau is traditionally called in Italian “cassetone a sarcofago” or “cassetone a cofano” because of the top section of the bureau recalling the form of a funerary urn. The curves of the legs and mouldings against the veins of the walnut and burr walnut create a charming flow of lines throughout the piece. The more typical bureaux of the same shape featured ebonized borders and mouldings across the surface (see S. Colombo, op.cit., fig.390). This pair however adopts a sober look, rectilinear and announcing in some ways the transition from the baroque to the neoclassical style. Similar bureaux are illustrated in S. Colombo, op.cit., figs. 469/470 and in A. Disertori, op.cit., p.189. A related example was sold at Sotheby’s London, 5 December 2017, lot 645.

Villa Visconti Alari, Cernusco sul Naviglio

Villa Alari, also known as the Villa Visconti di Saliceto, is a Rococo style rural palace in Cernusco sul Naviglio, in the Province of Milan. Constructed between 1703 and 1719, the palace was commissioned by Giacinto Alari (1668-1753) from the roman architect Giovanni Ruggeri. The villa, which famously conserved its architecture and interiors, is one of the most important "ville di delizia" (villa of delights) of 18th century Lombardia.

Between 1772 and 1776, the villa welcomed the Archduke Ferdinand, Governor of the Duchy of Milan between 1765 and 1796, and his wife Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, Duchess of Massa.


After the death of Saulo Alari, Giacinto’s grandson, in 1831, the villa was sold to the Visconti di Saliceto.

STYLE: Private Collections
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