• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5908

    Christie's Interiors

    14 July 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 284

    A FRENCH BRASS AND TORTOISESHELL INLAID 'BOULLE' MARQUETRY BUREAU DE DAME

    LATE 19TH CENTURY AND RESTORED

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH BRASS AND TORTOISESHELL INLAID 'BOULLE' MARQUETRY BUREAU DE DAME
    LATE 19TH CENTURY AND RESTORED
    The hinged fall enclosing three small drawers and a well on four cabriole legs
    37 in. (94 cm.) high; 31¼ in. (79 cm.) wide; 19 in. (48 cm.) deep


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    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.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF FROM A PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTOR (LOTS 284 - 333)

    'Boulle' is a name synonymous with luxurious grandeur and an intricate technique of marquetry that combines gilt-brass, tortoiseshell, ebony, pewter, mother-of-pearl, occasionally horn and ivory. André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), of Dutch extraction, settled as a French cabinet maker and became the Ébéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi in 1672 to Louis XIV.
    The perfected skills of 'Boulle' inlay have endured through the centuries, the technique passing directly through the family workshops, with André-Charles' workshops continuing under his son, Charles-Joseph, then to the restorer, Levasseur, during the reign of Louis XVI and hence to his son, surviving until 1830's. The industrial revolution mechanised the 'Boulle' technique and enabled small manufacturers to embrace this form. The Second Empire, under Napoleon III (1852-1871), witnessed a period of industrial prosperity and a flourish of interior design, borne from a desire to exhibit this new wealth, inspired by past reigns of artistic excellence, combined with new manufacturing techniques. A series of International Exhibitions were held in Paris, 1855, 1861 and 1867 in which 'Boulle' inspired pieces were greatly admired.