• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1983

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

    9 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 125

    A PAIR OF NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS AND TORTOISESHELL-INLAID EBONY AND EBONISED 'BOULLE' MEUBLES D'APPUI**

    AFTER THE MODEL BY ANDRÉ-CHARLES BOULLE, BY WASSMUS FRÈRES, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF NAPOLEON III ORMOLU-MOUNTED CUT-BRASS AND TORTOISESHELL-INLAID EBONY AND EBONISED 'BOULLE' MEUBLES D'APPUI**
    AFTER THE MODEL BY ANDRÉ-CHARLES BOULLE, BY WASSMUS FRÈRES, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Decorated allover with premier and contre partie marquetry panels, each with a rectangular brass-inlaid top above a pair of cupboard doors headed by an Apollo mask, the doors centred by figures of Aspasia and the Philosopher and flanked to the sides with ribbon-tied portrait medals, the interior fitted with adjustable shelves, the sides centred with pierced scrolling foliate mounts, on bun feet, the carcass of each stamped to the reverse WASSMUS
    49¾ in. (126.5 cm.) high; 48½ in. (123 cm.) wide; 18 1/8 in. (46 cm.) deep (2)


    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

    This pair of fine meubles d'appui, executed in complimentary premier and contre partie brass and tortoiseshell-inlaid marquetry, is based on the celebrated model by André-Charles Boulle, ébéniste, ciseleur, doreur et sculpteur du Roi from 1672 to 1732 (see Alexandre Pradère, French Furniture Makers, The Art of the Ebéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, Paris, 1989, p. 81).

    Established in Paris in 1810, the firm of Wassmus Frères was fêted for high quality furnishings in the 18th century taste produced under the direction of Henri-Léonard. From 1853 the business traded from 146, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis supplying furniture to European royal houses and contributing to the Paris Exhibitions of 1855 and 1867. Wassmus, who received a court appointment from the Garde-meuble as a Fournisseur de la Couronne, was celebrated as an 'artiste supérieur'.

    A single cabinet of the same model, executed by Wassmus's contemporary, Mathieu Befort, dit Befort Jeune, was sold at Christie's London, 28 September 2006, lot 53 (£84,000).

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Sotheby's Monaco, 8-9 February 1982, lot 708.