Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
AN AUSTRIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND JAPANESE LACQUER TABLE A ECRIRE
AN AUSTRIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND JAPANESE LACQUER TABLE A ECRIRE
AN AUSTRIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND JAPANESE LACQUER TABLE A ECRIRE
2 More
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Ro… Read more
AN AUSTRIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND JAPANESE LACQUER TABLE A ECRIRE

POSSIBLY BY BENEDICT HOLL, VIENNA, CIRCA 1800-10, THE LACQUER, CIRCA 1640-80

Details
AN AUSTRIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND JAPANESE LACQUER TABLE A ECRIRE
POSSIBLY BY BENEDICT HOLL, VIENNA, CIRCA 1800-10, THE LACQUER, CIRCA 1640-80
The eared rectangular top inset with a Japanese lacquer panel depicting various figures in a wooded landscape with birds and a pavillion with seated figures below clouds beyond, all within a gadrooned ormolu border, above a panelled fireze drawer centred by a foliate-cast escutcheon, on tapering square leges terminating in square sabots
26 ¼ in. (68 cm.) high; 23 ¼ in. (59 cm.) wide; 16 in. (40.5 cm. ) deep
Special Notice

Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm
Cancellation under the EU Consumer Rights Directive may apply to this lot. Please see here for further information.

Brought to you by

To Book a Virtual Appointment Contact
To Book a Virtual Appointment Contact

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay


Decorated with a superb mid-17th Century Japanese lacquer panel, this elegant and precious table is a fine example of the most luxurious Viennese neo-classical furniture produced in the late 18th / early 19th Century. It was possibly executed by Benedict Holl (c. 1755 – c. 1831), one of the most talented and ground-breaking furniture-makers (Tischler Meister) active in the Austrian capital in this period. Characterised by highly original designs, elongated forms and excellent craftsmanship, his oeuvre is known to us through a number of signed pieces which are discussed by F. Windisch-Graetz, ‘Der rätselhafte Meister B. Holl und die Wiener Kleinmöbel des frühen 19. Jahrhunderts’, Alte und modern Kunst, 160/61/1978, pp 29-35. His most celebrated piece is Empress Elisabeth’s bejewelled Damensekreträr, signed and dated ‘1799’, which was photographed in the so-called Hermesvilla in 1882-’86 (E. Ottilinger, L. Hanzl, Kaiserliche Interieurs, Vienna, 1997, p. 387, fig. 250). Various other tables by Holl discussed by Windisch-Graetz all have a similar slender frieze drawers and small-scale, jewellike mounts; most variations are visible to the legs and supports. To the present table a delicate mount was conceived to frame the Japanese lacquer panel; for the drawer – recuperated from the interior of a Japanese lacquer cabinet and apparently unaltered for the use in this table – a delicate escutcheon mount was employed.

The Japanese lacquer panel employed as the top of this table is decorated in the ‘pictorial style’ of the third quarter of the 17th Century. Its’ proportions and horizontal scene suggest it was probably originally the top panel of a cabinet, of the type with two doors enclosing a fitted interior. The decoration is so fine that it also relates to the so-called ‘Fine group’ of exceptionally finely decorated Japanese lacquer pieces, including Mme de Pompadour’s Van Diemen box, subsequently in William Beckford’s Collection and now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Buys Box, panels of which were re-used in a pair of cabinets also in Beckford’s collection and now at Elton Hall (O. Impey, C. Jörg, Japanese Export Lacquer, Amsterdam, 2005, pp. 84-86). Costly furniture mounted with panels of ‘antique’ exotic lacquer had been produced in Paris since the early 1730s – designed and sold by two generations of marchands-merciers – but would have been relatively unknown in Austria at this date. The present table is therefore – as an experimental piece – all the more fascinating and rare. The lacquer itself could have come from the Imperial collection or from one of Austria’s distinguished princely families, who generally all had significant holdings of Chinese and Japanese ceramics and works of art as well as intimate cabinet rooms inset with lacquer panels. Dr Christian Witt-Dörring has kindly suggested that this table may have been conceived for a member of the Esterhazy or Liechtenstein families, whose passion for this kind of exotic novelty c. 1800 was even greater than that of the Emperor and his immediate family.

More from The Collector: Live

View All
View All