A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE
A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE
A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE
A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE

IN THE MANNER OF CHARLES CRESSENT, BY EMMANUEL ZWIENER, PARIS, LATE 19TH CENTURY

Details
A FINE AND LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ THREE-PIECE BEDROOM SUITE
IN THE MANNER OF CHARLES CRESSENT, BY EMMANUEL ZWIENER, PARIS, LATE 19TH CENTURY
Comprising a bed, a commode and a large vanity and mirror; the commode with brèche de Medici marble top above two drawers mounted with rocaille encadrements and putti suspending a tight-rope-walking monkey, the angles with espangolette busts, the sides similarly decorated with a tight-rope-walking hound, the vanity and bed decorated en suite, the vanity fitted with two side cabinets each with matching brèche de Medici marble top and enclosing a shelf, the reverse of the mounts variously incised 'ZN'
The commode: 38 in. (96.5 cm.) high, 62 ½ in. (159 cm.) wide, 26 ½ in. (67.5 cm.) deep
The bed: 66 ½ in. (169 cm.) high, 77 ½ in. (197 cm.) wide, 85 ½ in. (217 cm.) deep
The vanity: 92 ½ in. (235 cm.) high, 72 ¾ in. (185 cm.) wide, 18 in. (45.5 cm.) deep
Literature
C. Payne, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, 2018, pp. 141-3.
A. F. Morris, ‘Sir John Murray Scott’s Collection in the Rue Laffitte, Paris, Part II’, The Connoisseur, XXVII, no. 108, 1911, p. 237.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

Palatial in scale for a hôtel particulier or a Newport ’cottage’, this magnificent suite of bedroom furniture simultaneously celebrates the unmistakable designs of the ancien régime and the golden age of ébénisterie during the final decades of the 19th century. The overall design, rooted in the 18th century fascination with ‘singerie’, was manifested in Charles Cressent’s ‘commode aux enfants balançant un singe’, circa 1749-1755, examples of which remain in the Louvre, the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor and the Linsky Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (C. Payne, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, 2018, p. 141).  
The exact dating of the first copy in the 19th century remains somewhat shrouded in mystery, though Payne refers to an unsigned copy bearing the lock-maker Souchet, whose workshop opened in 1835 and is closely associated with cabinetmakers of the Second Empire, specifically Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen (op. cit. p. 143). However, early 20th century scholarship suggests the earliest known examples could be linked to the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who appears to have either acquired or commissioned a pair of commodes, possibly from his preferred bronzier Charles Croaztier and foreman Carl Dreschler. The pair appears in an inventory of the Salon vert of Lord Hertford’s Paris apartment at 2 rue Laffitte (op. cit. p. 142). Though described as ‘two authenticated cabinets by Cressent […] The point of interest is the central motif is a monkey dancing across a tight-rope’ (A. F. Morris, ‘Sir John Murray Scott’s Collection in the Rue Laffitte, Paris, Part II’, The Connoisseur, XXVII, no. 108, p. 237), it does not appear that the pair were ever exhibited at Bethnel Green, London, 1872-1875 or other major exhibitions where the 4th Marquess had displayed selections from his exceptional collection. In fact, the rue Laffitte apartment subsequently passed to his illegitimate son Sir Richard Wallace, then to Lady Wallace and in turn to their secretary John Murray Scott who bequeathed it to Victoria, Lady Sackville, wife of the 3rd Baron Sackville of Knole. Thereafter the collection was sold en bloc to the art dealer Jacques Seligmann who resold it piecemeal after 1916, often to museums and collectors in the United States.
Though perhaps unknowingly influencing furniture production for generations of ébénistes, acquisitions and exhibition by the 4th Marquess of Hertford of 18th century royal models and commissions for their copies, fostered a crescendo of renewed interest and vigorous study among burgeoning cabinet-makers of the mid-to-late 19th century. The first signed copies of the commode, and therefore the accompanying bed and vanity, are associated with the workshops of Emmanuel Zwiener, Antoine Krieger and François Linke. Another example of the commode with similar brèche de Medici marble top was sold at Christie’s, London, 28 October 2014, lot 18 and was incised with both the initials for Zwiener (‘ZN’) and Linke (’FL’), indicating that Linke likely acquired the master models from his contemporary or completed a partially finished Zwiener carcass (op. cit. p. 143). Research also suggests that the Linke commode may have been manufactured for Maison Krieger, as it is interesting to note that while no cliché for it exists in the Linke Archive, a photograph of the comparable commode does survive in the Archive. The photograph was likely acquired from Krieger once Linke had established a comprehensive record of clichés. Another commode by Krieger is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le meuble français et europeén du moyen âge à nos jours, Paris, 1991, p. 490. However, the present lot is variously marked with an incised ‘ZN’ for Emmanuel Zwiener only, further supporting the ébéniste’s sole hand in the production of this impressive suite.

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