• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 156

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH AND STAINED FRUITWOOD PARQUETRY BUREAU PLAT

    BY PIERRE MACRET, CIRCA 1775

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH AND STAINED FRUITWOOD PARQUETRY BUREAU PLAT
    BY PIERRE MACRET, CIRCA 1775
    The rectangular gilt-tooled green leather-lined top with panelled edge mount, above a Greek-key inlaid frieze fitted to one side with two drawers, to the reverse with simulated drawers, the short ends each with a conformingly leather-lined slide, on square tapering legs with rounded angles, headed by floral paterae and terminating in square toupie feet, stamped 'MACRET' twice, partially remounted, including the floral paterae and the border to the top
    29¾ in. (75.5 cm.) high; 51½ in. (131 cm.) wide; 26 in. (66 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

    Pierre Macret, marchand-ébéniste privilégié du Roi suivant la cour et conseils de sa majesté in 1756.

    This elegant bureau plat by Pierre Macret epitomises the nascent neo-classicism of the late Louis XV period. Widely recognized as the goût grec, it is known to have appeared circa 1754-1756 with the first experimental bureau plat executed for Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully, probably by Joseph Baumhauer (died 1772) and Philippe Caffiri (1714-1774) to the designs of Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain (1714-1759), and now at the Musée Condé at Chantilly (S. Eriksen, Early neo-classicism in France, London, 1974, figs. 85-89). Such a novel, unparalleled and unprecedented vogue rapidly gained popularity as evidenced by the celebrated quote from the Baron de Grimm in 1763: tout se fait aujourd'hui à la grecque (Ibid, p. 264).

    Among the related examples is a bureau plat by Philippe-Claude Montigny was sold from the Wildenstein Collection, Christie's, London, 14-15 December 2005, lot 178; and two examples by René Dubois, sold at Christie's, Paris, 23 June 2005, lot 467 (EUR 168,000), and Sotheby's, New York, 25 April, 1998, lot 353 ($310,500), respectively. A further example by Pierre-Harry Mewesen, featuring an identical Greek-key frieze is illustrated in G. Wannenes, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Milan, 1998, p. 239.

    For further information on Macret, please refer to lot 114.

    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

    Collection André & Lydie Hammel, Tajan, Paris, 18 December 2001, lot 58 (EUR94,500).