A pair of Louis XIV style gilt-bronze mounted calamander and hardwood breakfront side cabinets, probably English, late 19th/early 20th century
30,000 - 50,000 GBP
30,000 - 50,000 GBP
A pair of Louis XIV style gilt-bronze mounted calamander and hardwood breakfront side cabinets
probably English, late 19th/early 20th century
the Algerian brèche sanguine marble tops above a cupboard door incorporating Japanese lacquer panels, Edo period, 17th century, opening to reveal a single adjustable shelf, on later spiral fluted tapering feet
92.5cm. high, 124.5cm. wide, 41.5cm. deep; 3ft.½in., 4ft. 1in., 1ft. 4½in.
An extremely smart pair of cabinets – of superior quality – and generally in reasonably good restored condition but would benefit from further attention. Marble tops in good order with typical and very minor knicks and chips to edges consistent with age and use and filler at some of these sites. One cabinet with loss to moulding of left return proper of breakfront above cupboard door; the other with loss to moulding of right return proper of breakfront above cupboard door. The back board and later ply top have been applied with a later black wash. The gilt-brass mounts are particularly fine and would benefit from gentle clean to remove ingrained dust/dirt. Some lifting and minor losses to brass stringing/inlay and small chips and losses to veneers generally localised to corners and peripheral edges. Harwood panels faded slightly from exposure to sun and would benefit from a wax according to taste. Lacquer panels generally in good condition with minor losses to raised relief, hairline splits and some re-touching around edges from having been cut down for the cabinet doors. Feet probably later as stated. Otherwise, with typical minor old chips and scratches consistent with age and use.
"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."
These opulent cabinets are conceived in the Louis XIV style which, together with other periods from the Ancien Régime, regained prominence during the Belle Époque and the later part of the 19th century. Although they appear French is design, the construction and lock mechanism are distinctly English in character.
The cabinets employ an array of exotic materials which, when coupled with the quality of finely chased gilt-bronze mounts, point to a commission of some importance. The vivid brèche sanguine marble tops were mined in Algeria - a source of exceptional marbles championed by British diplomat and naturalist Sir Lambert Playfair (1828 –1899) following a visit in 1880 – and the highly prized Japanese lacquer panels would have originally formed part of an Edo period chest before being sensitively adapted.
Tantalizingly, these cabinets do not bear a maker's stamp although it is worth comparing them to a similarly conceived Louis XIV style cabinet with Butchoff Antiques which is stamped Gillows 1866 and relates to a design by the firm from 1874.