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    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 211

    A MATCHED PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE COMMODES

    BOTH CIRCA 1803-1813, BY JACOB DESMALTER

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MATCHED PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE COMMODES
    BOTH CIRCA 1803-1813, BY JACOB DESMALTER
    Each with a carrara marble top above a secretaire drawer with a fall-front and fitted interior enclosing short drawers and a leather-lined writing surface, above a cupboard door centred with a classical mount and enclosing three sliding trays, on parcel-gilt decorated ebonised paw feet, stamped 'Jabob D. R. Meslee' (one stamped five times, the other twice)
    38½ in. (98 cm.) high and wide, 23½ in. (63 cm.) deep (2)


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    This splendid pair of marble-topped bureau/dressing-commodes, conceived in the Parisian 'antique' fashion popularised by C. Percier and P. Fontaine in their Récueil de Décorations Intérieures, first printed in 1801, exemplifies the luxurious neoclassical designs produced by Jacob-Desmalter, a partnership between Georges (1739-1814) and his son, François-Honoré-Georges Jacob (1770-1841), between 1803-1813. Jacob-Desmalter et Cie. were unquestionably the greatest cabinet-makers of the Empire period, supplying numerous pieces for the Imperial palaces in France, Italy and Belgium.
    The rectilinear Grecian chest, embellished with golden bas-relief tablets has its stepped plinth raised on golden trussed volutes, together with antique-bronze japanned griffin claws, that evoke Apollo as the poet of Mt. Parnassus; while the tablets, celebrating lyric poetry and sacrifices at Love's altar in antiquity, feature sacred urns beside a laurelled medallion depicting the preparations of a bride in antiquity.

    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

    The Savoia-Carignano family and by descent.
    Christie's, New York, 24 May 2001, lot 175.
    With Ariane Dandois, Paris.