Property of a Private West Coast Collector. This lot is sold pursuant to a settlement agreement with the heirs of Rudolf von Goldschmidt-Rothschild

A Louis XV Gilt-Bronze Mounted Burr Walnut and Tulipwood Table a Ouvrage, Circa 1755-60

Lot Closed

October 17, 05:12 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Details


A Louis XV Gilt-Bronze Mounted Burr Walnut and Tulipwood Table a Ouvrage, Circa 1755-60

the interior later fitted with pink silk and inset with a Chinese Kangxi blue and white porcelain small bowl; repairs to lid

height 37 in.; width 18 in.; depth 17 in.

94 cm; 45.7 cm; 43.2 cm

Collection of Rudolf von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1881-1962), Frankfurt-am-Main and Königstein im Taunus, Germany

Seized by the Berlin Mitte tax office, circa 1939

Georg von Opel Collection, Königstein im Taunus, after April 1939

Kunsthaus Heinrich Hahn, Frankfurt-am-Main, 7-8 May 1940, Lot 645


This highly unusual work table is of almost identical form to the one that appears in the celebrated portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775) now in the National Gallery, London (NG6440). The Pompadour table differs from the offered lot in having what seems to be a stained wood veneer with tulipwood banding, an additional stretcher shelf, and more elaborate gilt bronze mounts including drawer handles with enamel plaques indicating the colours of the threads, laurel garland swags, Vitruvian scroll borders and ram's head angle mounts, all typical of the goût grec neoclassical taste extremely fashionable among the Parisian elite at the time the portrait was painted in 1763-64.

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764) was the maîtresse en titre of King Louis XV from 1745-1751 and remained an influential friend and favourite at the court until her premature death. She was also one of the most important art patrons and tastemakers of the mid-18th century, and the highly innovative form of this work table might well have been invented specifically for her by one of the marchand mercier dealers whom she patronised, notably Lazare-Duvaux, though no table corresponding to this model appears in the deliveries to the Marquise recorded in his detailed surviving daybook. Lazare-Duvaux died in 1758, five years before the Drouais portrait was painted. The bronze knop on the lid of the present table is in the form of a castle tower, which relates to the Pompadour coat of arms of three towers, and also incorporates a pair of turtle doves, a popular 18th-century symbol of love and fidelity that was also associated with the Marquise.

Rudolf von Goldschmidt-Rothschild was the son of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1843-1940), a banker who married the daughter of the last male scion of the Frankfurt House of Rothschild and at one stage considered the richest man in the German Empire. His important art collection was housed in the Rothschild-Palais at Bockenheimer Landstrasse 10 in Frankfurt (destroyed 1944), which he was compelled to sell to the city of Frankfurt in 1938.