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    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 225

    AN EARLY LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED BUREAU PLAT

    CIRCA 1735, IN THE MANNER OF NÖEL GÉRARD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EARLY LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED BUREAU PLAT
    CIRCA 1735, IN THE MANNER OF NÖEL GÉRARD
    The rectangular tan leather inset top with a moulded brass edge and foliate clasps to the corners, the three frieze drawers decorated with brass stringing and scrolled leaf mounts flanking the central drawer between foliate, shell and rocaille-cast angle mounts, with conforming decoration to the reverse, the ends with mounts depicting Neptune, on cabriole legs with further brass inlay and terminating in scrolled sabots
    30½in. (77.5cm.) high, 69¾in. (177cm.) wide, 35in. (89cm.) deep


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    The half-brother of the ébéniste Jacques Dubois, Gérard married the widow of a 'menuisier en ébène' in 1710 and initially established himself as marchand-ébéniste in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. His business prospered and in 1726 he became marchand-mercier, moving to the hôtel of the banker and connoisseur Jabach on the rue Neuve-Saint-Merry. He evidently specialised in all aspects of ameublement de luxe and counted among his clients Stanislas Leszczynski, the King of Poland, who purchased tapestries from him, the comte de Clermont, who in 1734 owed him 139,672 livres and Mylord Wadgrave, the ambassador of England, who bought furniture from him in 1733. The inventory drawn up after his death in 1736 reveals the extensive nature of his business, listing 80 clocks and 150 pieces of furniture in varying stages of completion, as well as mounted porcelains, bronzes and tapestries.

    It is thought that Gerard purchased various models of furniture and mounts from the ébéniste André-Charles Boulle after his death in 1732 and one can certainly see much of Boulle's influence in Gérard's oeuvre. The heavy stance of this bureau, combined with the use of the brass-inlaid stringing on an ebonised ground is reminiscent of the little-known work of Boulle fils during the 1730's.

    A bureau-plat with identical scrolled mounts flanking the central drawer was sold anonymously, at Sotheby's, New York, 20 May 1989, lot 324.

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