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    Sale 7574

    Thomas Hope & The Neoclassical Vision & The Collector of Collections

    24 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 316

    A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID TORTOISESHELL AND EBONY BOULLE MARQUETRY BUREAU PLAT

    BY VEUVE PAUL SORMANI & FILS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID TORTOISESHELL AND EBONY BOULLE MARQUETRY BUREAU PLAT
    BY VEUVE PAUL SORMANI & FILS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Of Règence design, the serpentine top with brown gilt-tooled leather writing-surface framed by a broad Boulle border, the corners mounted with cabochon-and-shell clasps, one replaced, above three frieze drawers with Boulle panels, the centre drawer recessed and mounted with a satyr's mask and framed by curved mounts with bearded masks, the reverse with three simulated drawers, on cabriole legs headed by bearded bacchic masks, ending in paw sabots, the central drawers' lock stamped 'Vve. P.SORMANI & FILS/10 r. Charlot, Paris', the central and right drawer and both sides of the underside all with ivorine labels 'P.LAYCOCK/DEALER IN FURNITURE & PIANOS 18 OXFORD STREET HARROGATE'
    30½ in. (77.5 cm.) high; 58 in. (147 cm.) wide; 29 in. (74 cm.) deep


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    THE BOULLE MODEL
    This splendid bureau plat was executed after the celebrated model by André-Charles Boulle (d.1732), appointed Ebéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi in 1672. Boulle's unique technique, popularised with his work for the French Court during the reign of Louis XIV, exploited the practice of contrasting ebony against gilt- bronze and brass, silver-toned pewter and often tortoiseshell in marquetry. The taste among great collectors for the style of 'all the Louis' continued throughout the 19th century, and Boulle-style furniture held its popularity and prestige. Important makers, such as Sormani, Zwiener and Linke in France, Blake in England, turned their attention to copying or adapting the great pieces of the past, often speculatively but also frequently commissioned by the likes of the Rothschilds, the Marquess of Hertford or Henry Clay Frick. Many of these 19th century pieces took their places comfortably side by side with their predecessors from the 17th and 18th centuries in great houses such as Mentmore.
    A closely-related bureau plat by Sormani was sold, Christie's, London, 23 February 2006, lot 102 (£14,400 including premium), and a further example was sold, Christie's, London, 26 October 2000, lot 14 (£19,975 including premium).

    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.


    Provenance

    P. Laycock Ltd., Harrogate.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 22 April 1982, lot 58.