• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7569

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics

    19 March 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 50

    A NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS-INLAID TORTOISESHELL AND EBONY 'BOULLE' CABINET

    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS-INLAID TORTOISESHELL AND EBONY 'BOULLE' CABINET
    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Inlaid overall with Bérainesque arabesques and grotesques en première partie, surmounted by a stepped breakfront pediment above a cupboard door, applied with a raised tablet centred by an Apollo mask beneath a cameo of Louis XIV and corner mounts signed to the reverse HPR, enclosing four drawers with geometric walnut and red tortoiseshell veneers, flanked to each side by three drawers, above a waisted socle, the lower central door mounted with a pierced ribbon-tied cartouche with seated figure of Urania, the canted angles supporting corbels headed by winged sphinxes and terminating in lion-paws, on capped toupie feet
    84¾ in. (215.5 cm.) high; 65 in. (165 cm.) wide; 24¼ in. (61.5 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

    Although not directly after a model this most impressive cabinet borrows heavily from stylistic oeuvre of André-Charles Boulle (d. 1732), ébéniste, ciseleur, doreur et sculpteur du Roi from 1672. The winged-caryatids to the corners are the most striking similarity, being copied from a pair of commodes made by Boulle in 1708-09 for Louis XIV's bedchamber at the Palais de Trianon, now the Grand Trianon, and since transferred to Versailles. A further similarity is the use of tightly-scrolled grotesques and arabesque inlays which are in the manner of Boulle's affiliate, the designer Jean Bérain. The handles and medallion of Louis XIV framed within a trophy are also modelled on mounts produced by Boulle's atelier , whilst the ribbon-tied cartouche depicting a seated figure of Urania is closer to the work of his follower, Étienne Levasseur (d. 1766).

    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.