• The William F. Reilly Collecti auction at Christies

    Sale 2273

    The William F. Reilly Collection

    14 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 31

    A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED BOULLE MARQUETRY MIRROR

    CIRCA 1710, POSSIBLY VIENNA

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED BOULLE MARQUETRY MIRROR
    CIRCA 1710, POSSIBLY VIENNA
    With a cushioned frame inlaid with etched brass and pewter foliate scrolls and strapwork against a tortoiseshell ground, later mirror plate
    38 in. (96.5 cm.) high, 32 in. (89 cm.) wide


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    The fluid, naturalistic foliage and strapwork on this distinctive mirror relates it to several examples of Viennese Boulle furniture. The less rigid style seen on many of these works can be traced to the influence of ornamental print designs by Johann Eysler as well as Paul Decker the Elder, whose engravings exhibit the influence of Berain and Daniel Marot.

    Like their French counterparts, the Viennese court highly prized Boulle-work and employed Flemish and German craftsmen to produce it for their residences. One of the largest documented commissions was from Marie Christine, Princess of Salm (1655-1744), who discusses it in letters to her older brother, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor (1640-1705). A torchere from this commission with similarly fluid strapwork is illustrated in A.W. Vliegenhart, Boulle Möbel der Fürsten Salm, 1995, Rede, p 27, pl. 22. An additional nearly identical pair of torcheres was sold from a Distinguished Private Collection at Christie's, New York, 19 October 2007, lot 226. In the Hofburg Palace, Vienna, a desk commissioned by Leopold I and bearing his coat of arms, has closely related etched foliate strapwork and is thought to be the oldest documented example of Viennese Boulle furniture (H. Kreisel, Die Kunst des Deutschen Møebels, Munich, 1970, vol I, figs. 391-392). Other related examples of Viennese Boulle furniture were commissioned by the Counts of Harrach and are still in the collection of Schloss Rohrau, Vienna.

    Special Notice

    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.


    Provenance

    Anonymous Sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 23 February 1986, lot 837.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 10 December 1994, lot 232.