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    Sale 7540

    A House on the Wiltshire Downs

    6 March 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 28

    A RUSSIAN BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE-À-ABATTANT

    EARLY 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A RUSSIAN BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE-À-ABATTANT
    EARLY 19TH CENTURY
    The pierced brass gallery with later acorn finials above a drawer and an adjustable leather-lined slide above a fall-front below enclosing a leather-lined fitted interior, flanked by tapering uprights headed with bronze female masks each with a short drawer below, above two cupboard doors enclosing a fitted interior on square tapering legs
    63½ in. (161 cm.) high; 38½ in. (98 cm.) wide; 17¾ in. (45 cm.) deep


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    The china-railed secretaire is designed in the late 18th century French/antique fashion with Egyptian vestal-term pilasters flanking a silken-veil-figured tablet of mahogany that is recessed in a poetic palm-flowered triumphal arch. A related vestal-termed secretaire featured in an engraving of Costumes Parisiens, issued in 1799; while the Parisian taste for such golden reed mouldings and inlay was popularised by the Moravian ébéniste David Roentgen (d. 1807) and later illustrated in Piere Antoine Leboux La Mésangère's, Collection de Meubles et objets de goût, 1801 (see U. Leben, Molitor, London, 1992, figs. 139 & 74). Its arched tablet can perhaps be related to the Roman bath window featured in the design for St. Petersburg Grecian Stock Exchange by the French architect Thomas de Thomon (d. 1815), who is credited with the design of a table in the Hermitage Museum that has been attributed to Heinrich Gambs and incorporates a grand arched mirror framed by Egyptian vestal term pilasters (A. Chenevière, Russian Furniture, London, 1988, fig. 149).

    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

    With Mallett, Bourdon House, London.