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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, KINGWOOD, TULIPWOOD, SATINWOOD AND GREEN-STAINED FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT

    CIRCA 1780, PROBABLY RETAILED BY LEONARD BOUDIN AND SUPPLIED BY CHARLES TOPINO

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, KINGWOOD, TULIPWOOD, SATINWOOD AND GREEN-STAINED FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT
    CIRCA 1780, PROBABLY RETAILED BY LEONARD BOUDIN AND SUPPLIED BY CHARLES TOPINO
    The rectangular moulded grey-veined white marble top with canted angles above a frieze drawer mounted with flower-filled entrelacs, above a fall-front centred by a canopied fruited basket, and enclosing an interior with open compartments, fitted drawers and a leather-lined writing-surface, above a pair of doors inlaid with flower-filled urns, enclosing a shelf above a coffre fort and two further drawers, the angles mounted with ribbon-tied allegorical attributes, the sides centred with urns and globes, on block feet, with black ink inventory number '2165', and remains of a blue-bordered paper label inscribed 'Salon../r'
    56½ in. (143.5 cm.) high; 39¼ in. (99.5 cm.) wide; 18 in. (46 cm.) deep


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    LEONARD BOUDIN - CHARLES TOPINO

    Boudin was arguably one of the most prolific marchand-ébénistes of the late Louis XV era. Having received his maîtrise in 1761, he became marchand-ébéniste in 1775 and as such was able to grant commissions to distinguished craftsmen such as Charles Topino, Nicolas Petit, André-Louis Gilbert and Pierre Denizot. His collaboration with such ébénistes explains why his stamp often appeared alongside that of the ébénistes he most regularly employed.

    This secrétaire à abattant is most probably the fruit of a collaboration between Boudin and Topino, maître in 1773 and it is therefore not surprising to find features on this piece that are recurrent in the oeuvre of Topino. Firstly, the idiosyncratic angle mounts, emblematic of the Applied Science can be found on various pieces by Topino, including a secrétaire à abattant, formerly in the collection of the Princesse A. de Broglie (ill. S.Barbier Sainte Marie, Charles Topino, Paris, 2005, p. 111), another depicting scenes after Boucher and Pillement (ill. Ibid, p. 128) and a virtually identical secrétaire à abattant, albeit with slightly different lower panels, sold at Sotheby's, London, 20 June 1975, lot 76. Secondly, the marquetry of tasselled drapery swag above a fruit basket and urns with floral bouquets can be found on several secrétaires à abattant by the ébéniste, among which one sold at Sotheby's, London, 14 June 2000, lot 58 (£46,500) (ill. bid, p. 135) and another illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1998, p. 846. Thirdly, the guilloche-cast frieze inset with interspersed sunflowers and rosettes is yet another recurrent motif in the oeuvre of the celebrated marqueteur, and many related friezes can be found on secrétaires and commodes by Topino (ill. Ibid, pp. 112, 128, 132-3, 135 and 139).

    For details on the provenance of Count Cecil Pecci-Blunt, refer to previous lot 72.

    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

    Purchased by Count Cecil Pecci-Blunt, most probably in Paris in the 1920s.
    Thence by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A ROMAN PRINCELY HOUSE (LOTS 72-73)