• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 137

    A PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU-MOUNTED BURR-ELM AND AMARANTH CONSOLE TABLES

    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO BERNARD MOLITOR

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU-MOUNTED BURR-ELM AND AMARANTH CONSOLE TABLES
    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO BERNARD MOLITOR
    Each with a rectangular moulded white-veined grey marble top, above a frieze centred by a flower head flanked by anthemions, on square tapering herm supports headed by female busts, with mirrored back, on a rectangular plinth
    35 in. (89 cm.) high; 32 in. (81.5 cm.) wide; 14½ in. (37 cm.) deep


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    Bernard Molitor, maître in 1787.

    With its architectural, elegant, yet simple lines, these richly-mounted burr-elm console tables are related to the oeuvre of Bernard Molitor, maître in 1787. A closely related console table by Molitor is illustrated in U. Leben, Molitor, Ebéniste from the Ancien Régime to the Bourbon Restoration, New York, 1992, p.99, fig. 95 and p.194, fig. 90, and another, illustrated in Bernard Molitor 1755-1833, ex. Cat. Galerie d'art de la ville de Luxembourg- Villa Vauban, 1995, Luxembourg, p, 114, fig 42. A further related example by Molitor was sold, Le Goût Steinitz III, Christie's, London, 6 December 2007, lot 374 (£17,300).

    Active from the Ancien Régime until circa 1818, Molitor produced neo-classical furniture adorned with classically-inspired motifs before gradually introducing ornaments and shapes of the then fashionable Empire style. Ulrich Leben's comprehensive research on Molitor demonstrates the diversity of the oeuvre of this talented ébéniste (U. Leben, Op.cit., p. 32). A perfect illustration of such diversity can be found in the pair of secrétaires à abattant, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv.OA5475-5476), commissioned by Marie-Antoinette but only delivered to the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne by the ébéniste during Louis XVIII's reign.

    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

    Château d'Amboise, France.