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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 152


    CIRCA 1730

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1730
    Comprising: six pairs of double doors, each carved to the fronts with moulded panels enclosing foliate shells and scrolling acanthus leaves, the reverses with geometric panelling, each surmounted by a rectangular overdoor panel carved with fully-modelled birds amid flowers and foliage on a diaper ground and centred by a plaster medallion modelled in relief with scenes of frolicking putti;
    four arched mirror surrounds, each carved with water foliage and decorated with scrolls and shells;
    two moulded architraves for windows;
    sixteen panels of varying width, of which eight carved with moulded frames enclosing leafy scrolls, flowers, and C-scrolls, and eight panels with oval medallions depicting various wildlife scenes carved with fully-modelled birds and various other animals, within moulded frames decorated with scrolls and flowers, partially redecorated, the plaster roundels within the overdoor panels of a later date, some reverses of doors lacking moulded panelling or redecorated, two mirrors lacking plates, one mirror with replaced plate, without hinges and handles
    Each segment 132 in. (360 cm.) high;
    the double doors with surrounds 59½ in. (151 cm.) wide [six pairs];
    the mirrors 57 in. (144 cm.) wide [three] and 63 in. (160 cm.) wide [one];
    the panels carved with foliate decoration between 36½ in (93 cm.) and 24½ in. (62 cm.) wide [eight];
    the panels carved with wildlife between 33 in. (84 cm.) and 23½ in. (60 cm.) wide [eight];
    approximate overall dimensions: 600 sq. ft. (56 m2)

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    Rarely does such a complete and well-preserved panelled room survive to offer a testimony of the refinement of early 18th-century Parisian interiors. Almost certainly once furbishing one of the great hôtels particuliers of the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Germain or Faubourg Saint-Honoré, it was probably commissioned by a member of the aristocracy close to the circles of the Régent Philippe d'Orléans or later Louis XV.

    The origin of the present room is still to be traced, however, its structure and motifs are closely related to several documented rooms, some of which are preserved in their original building. Its scale and proportion as well as the fret designs are indeed similar to those of the Grand Salon on the first floor of the hôtel de Bourvallais, which now houses the Ministry of Justice. It is also quite close in inspiration to the white and gold-painted panelling from the former bedroom of the hôtel de Cressart, dated 1725, now installed in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu (illustrated in Bruno Pons, French Period Rooms, 1650-1800, Dijon, 1995, p. 210-20). Finally, the mirror frames with their prominent fronds and intertwined foliage are also to be found in the salle de companie in the hôtel de Soyecourt.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Christie's, New York, 27 May 1999, lot 367 ($431,500).

    Saleroom Notice

    Panelled rooms that have been removed from their original setting have invariably been changed and adapted for each of their new settings. This boiserie is no exception. Differences in the treatment of the carving between individual panels and elements suggest that the boiserie incorporates elements from at least two rooms, both 18th and 19th century as well as 19th century additions. It is now unified by the present white and gold decoration. Interestingly the carving visible in some areas beneath the gesso suggests at least some of the panels may have originally been un-decorated.

    Pre-Lot Text

    (LOTS 146-156)