• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7631

    Important European Furniture & Sculpture

    4 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 116

    A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY WRITING-TABLE

    BY JEAN-HENRI RIESENER, CIRCA 1765-70

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY WRITING-TABLE
    BY JEAN-HENRI RIESENER, CIRCA 1765-70
    Decorated à quatre faces, the shaped rectangular top above three slightly breakfront drawers, the top drawer enclosing a leather-lined writing slide and compartments, on cabriole legs terminating in shaped feet, with later castors, stamped twice 'JH RIESENER', the top possibly re-veneered
    30½ in. (77.5 cm.) high; 20 in. (51 cm.) wide; 15 in. (38 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Jean-Henri Riesener, maître in 1768.

    This elegant writing table is a concentrated version of a commode 'à la grecque', the early neoclassic design introduced by Jean-François Oeben (maître in 1761, d.1763) and characterised by its rectilinear breakfronted form and lingering Louis XV cabriole legs. The model was popularized by Madame de Pompadour, who, at the time of her death in 1764, owned seventeen commodes of this model, all of which had been delivered by Oeben (A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, p. 258.)
    Jean-Henri Riesener was one of the chief craftsmen in Oeben's workshop, which ran under his stewardship after Oeben's death. Several pieces made between 1763-1768 bear the stamp of both ébénistes, and a number of pieces which were unfinished at the time of Oeben's death were completed and stamped by Riesener, which is certainly a possibility for this small writing table. The most prominent piece finished and stamped by Riesener from Oeben's workshop is the famous bureau à cylindre made for Louis XVI at Versailles, begun by Oeben in 1760 and delivered by Riesener in 1769.

    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

    Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 18-19 June 1917, lot 198.
    With Etienne Levy, Paris.
    Christie's, New York, 18 October 2002, lot 370 (£50,190 with premium).


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY