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A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY, FRUITWOOD AND FLORAL MARQUETRY MEUBLE D'ENTRE DEUX
This lot has no reserve.
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY, FRUITWOOD AND FLORAL MARQUETRY MEUBLE D'ENTRE DEUX

CONSTRUCTED CIRCA 1770 USING THE UPPER SECTION OF A LOUIS XIV MEUBLE EN DEUX CORPS ATTRIBUTED TO ANDRÉ-CHARLES BOULLE

Details
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY, FRUITWOOD AND FLORAL MARQUETRY MEUBLE D'ENTRE DEUX
Constructed circa 1770 using the upper section of a Louis XIV meuble en deux corps attributed to André-Charles Boulle
The later inset rectangular Flemish griotte marble top enclosed within a gadrooned border, above a pair of marquetry panelled doors in the manner of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, decorated with summer flowers including tulips, roses and carnations issuing from an acanthus- wrapped baluster vase standing on a shaped pedestal, with birds and butterflies hovering above the pounced borders with acanthus and flowerhead angle-clasps enclosing a plain interior with two brass and ebony-fronted shelves, the ebony sides with conforming ormolu frames, above a molded, stepped plinth and acanthus-headed spirally-fluted tapering feet with chandelles, inscribed in blue chalk 0197 and in pencil ARPIN, the central sections of the sides probably originally with further marquetry panels
43½in. (110.5cm.) high, 42½in. (108cm.) wide, 16¾in. (42.5cm.) deep
Provenance
Anonymous sale, Ader Picard Tajan, Théatre des Champs Elysées, Paris, 22 November 1987, lot 240.
Special Notice

This lot has no reserve.

Lot Essay

BOULLE'S FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY

Fashionable from around 1660, marquetry in fruitwood was initially inspired by the oeuvre of the painter Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer. In 1715, Boulle owned 170 drawings and studies of flowers and around 150 drawings of birds painted from life by Pater fils. Moreover, at the time of his death in 1732, several flower paintings by Beaudesson are listed.

Contrary to accepted general opinion, André-Charles Boulle employed fruitwood marquetry during the vast majority of his career, and not just before 1700. Indeed, in the Acte de Délaisement of 1715, when the ébéniste was already sixty-three years old, the following are recorded:-
Quinze tables de fleurs ou pièces de rapport commencées...1 350l. Sept portes de cabinets de fleurs et de marqueterie en dedans 280 l.
Dix neuf caisses de bois de couleur 200 l.
Environ 25 gros tronçons de bois jaune, quelques racines de fresne, 6 demi-bûches d'ébène, 6 demi-bûches de bois rouge ou santal et quelques morceaux de stetin 500 l.
Dix caisses de bois scié en feuilles mêlées comme buis, épine vinette, houx, brésil et autres 300l.
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With its distinctive Louis XVI plinth and ebonised sides, as well as the perspective of the marquetry panels, this meuble d'appui clearly reflects the fashionable revival of Boulle furniture from the 1760's, popularised by the marchand Julliot. Julliot is known to have employed the ébénistes Montigny, Delorme and Levasseur to adapt existing Louis XIV furniture by Boulle and his workshop into more modern Louis XVI forms and the construction and execution of this meuble d'appui is entirely consistent with this.
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