• 19th Century Furniture, Sculpt auction at Christies

    Sale 7750

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics

    24 September 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 67

    A FINE NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS AND PEWTER-INLAID STAINED TORTOISESHELL, ETCHED IVORY, EBONY, TULIPWOOD, FRUITWOOD AND STAINED MARQUETRY MEUBLE D'APPUI

    BY JOSEPH CREMER, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FINE NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS AND PEWTER-INLAID STAINED TORTOISESHELL, ETCHED IVORY, EBONY, TULIPWOOD, FRUITWOOD AND STAINED MARQUETRY MEUBLE D'APPUI
    BY JOSEPH CREMER, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Inlaid overall with scrolled arabesques: the breakfront rectangular top above a frieze set with three drawers, the central portion with a further drawer fitted with a sloping green-leather writing-slide concealing a compartment, the reverse of the central retractable sliding-door decorated with a marquetry panel depicting a ruined abbey, the interior fitted with five marquetry fronted short drawers, flanked to each side by a further door, each inlaid to the reverse with floral marquetry and enclosing a shelved interior, all above a shaped apron centred by a drawer fitted with a padded prie-dieu and flanked to each side by a short drawer, the sides each fitted with a cupboard door enclosing four short shelves, the reverse with a paper label printed CREMER/Fabrique de Marqueterie, Mosaïque et Meubles de luxe
    46½ in. (118 cm.) high; 59 in. (160 cm.) wide; 23¾ in. (60.5 cm.) deep


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    Joseph Cremer was an artiste en mosaïque et marqueterie and the present cabinet is a masterful example of his art. Born in 1811 and active in Paris between 1839 and 1878, Cremer is first recorded at 29 rue de L'Entrepôt as an ébéniste specialising in marquetry. His prestigious patrons included King Louis-Philippe and the King of Holland. Another cabinet signed Cremer, with green stained ivory foliage frieze drawers like those to the present lot, bears a gilt crowned interlaced LOL for Louis-Philippe's second son, Louis d'Orleans (1814-1896), sold Sotheby's, London 4 November 1988, lot 218.

    Cremer was awarded numerous medals, culminating in a Médaille d'Honneur at the 1862 London Great Exhibition, the jury at the 1855 Paris Exhibition declared 'Comme ton, comme dessin, il est impossible d'atteindre dans un travail de marqueterie à plus d'harmonie et de justesse'. Another cabinet signed Cremer, which was apparently shown at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, shares with the present lot very similar cut-brass-inlaid paneled doors, sold Christie's, London, 29 September 1988, lot 129.

    The exterior of this cabinet is set with panels of green and red stained tortoiseshell finely inlaid with cut-brass and pewter scrolls in the Bérainesque style of André-Charles Boulle. Above are frieze drawers with green-stained ivory rinceaux feuillagés. The entire inside of the central door is inlaid with a remarkably vibrant marquetry panel depicting a ruined nave, whilst the reverse of each flanking door is lavishly decorated with a classical flower-filled urn. Even the interior base to the flanking cupboards and the reverse of the side doors are decorated with marquetry.

    The exceptional craftsmanship is further exemplified by the intricacies of the internal fitments. For example to the central portion, beneath the frieze drawer, is a further drawer with a fall-front concealing a writing slide. The central hinged door opens, and slides into the cabinet, exposing five drawers. Beneath this, the apron is fitted with three drawers: the central drawer opening to reveal a fold-out prayer stool.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTOR