• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 74

    A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, TULIPWOOD AND STAINED FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY COMMODE

    BY GUILLAUME KEMP, CIRCA 1770

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, TULIPWOOD AND STAINED FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY COMMODE
    BY GUILLAUME KEMP, CIRCA 1770
    The eared rectangular moulded Breccia de Arràbida marble top above two drawers inlaid sans traverse and centred by an oval medallion depicting martial attributes with laurel sprays, within a knotted-ribbon and laurel-cast surround headed by a pelt-headed Bacchic figure within a border of interlaced scrolls and flowerheads, above a shaped apron centred by foliage, the angles headed by pilasters cast with fruited laurel swags, the sides similarly decorated with simulated drapery, on cabriole legs mounted with foliage and terminating in paw feet, stamped 'G.KEMP' and 'JME', with two red wax seals
    34½ in. (87.5 cm.) high; 44¼ in. (112.5 cm.) wide; 20 in. (51 cm.) deep


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    Guillaume Kemp, maître in 1764.

    The beautifully executed trompe l'oeil marquetry gives the impression of plush drapery hanging above the ribbon-tied medallion that hangs on the neo-classically striped background, probably inspired by the pattern of military campaign tents.

    Only one other commode by Kemp with this distinctive drapery marquetry - possibly the pair to this commode - is known: it formed part of the celebrated collection of the Espirito Santo collection in Portugal and was sold at Ader-Picard-Tajan, Paris, 14 June 1977, lot 125. The Espirito Santo family has been synonymous with banking in Portugal since the foundation of the family bank in 1884. Financial success came hand in hand with a passion for the arts and their collections included some of the finest French furniture with pieces stamped by such celebrated ébénistes as Jean-Francois Oeben, Jean-Henri Riesener, Claude-Charles Saunier and Adam Weisweiler.

    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

    Sotheby's, London, 29 November 1985, lot 118.