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A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT
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A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
Property from a Private American Collection 
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT

AFTER THE MODEL BY CHARLES CRESSENT, BY ALFRED-EMMANUEL-LOUIS BEURDELEY, PARIS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

Details
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND TULIPWOOD BUREAU PLAT AFTER THE MODEL BY CHARLES CRESSENT, BY ALFRED-EMMANUEL-LOUIS BEURDELEY, PARIS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY The shaped top inset with a gilt-tooled leather writing surface, each angle with a scrolling shell mount clasp, above three frieze drawers, the back with simulated drawers, the sides centred by female masks, on cabriole legs headed by têtes des guerriers antiques and terminating in acanthus-cast sabots, the underside stamped three times 'A BEURDELEY / A PARIS' 32 in. (81 cm.) high; 84 ½ in. (214.5 cm.) wide; 40 3/8 in. (102.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
By repute, M. A. Beurdeley; Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 6-9 May 1895, lot 285 (unsold) and,
A. Beurdeley; Lecoq, Paris, 19-22 October 1897, lot 242, where acquired by M. A. Beurdeley fils and,
Collections Beurdeley; Palais d’Orsay, Paris, 16 May 1979, lot 97, where acquired by a private collector.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 1 October 2008, lot 338.
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

BUREAU PLAT 'À BUSTES DE GUERRIERS ANTIQUES'

Reprising the work of celebrated Ancien Régime cabinetmaker and sculptor, Charles Cressent (1685-1768), this impressive bureau plat is a fine manifestation of the extraordinary craftsmanship of Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdeley, the last member of a celebrated dynasty of Parisian furniture makers.

From their shop at the pavillon de Hanovre in Paris, each successive generation of the Beurdeley dynasty worked in a slightly different field of expertise. Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis specialized in the creation of faithful replicas of famed 18th century models drawing heavily from the French national collections, Mobilier National. The present desk is a faithful reproduction of the model that Charles Cressent is known to have made at least three times circa 1740-1745: one bureau plat, which has conserved its serre-papiers, sold from the collections of the duc de Richelieu in 1788, later in the Houses of Parliament in London, and today in the collections of Grimsthorpe Castle is illustrated in A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, London, 1989, p. 268-9, no. 61; another in the primary residence of the French President, the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris; and a final example in the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon (inv. 2369), having formerly been in the collections of, among others, baron Nathaniel de Rothschild and baron Alphonse de Rothschild. Cressent was known as a skilled sculptor, and produced and gilded many of his bronze mounts in his own workshop, a rarity in the 18th century. The casqued warriors with Roman armor, known as bustes des guerriers antiques, were among his most celebrated mounts, and can also be found on the angles of the legs to a cabinet de medailles in the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (illustrated A. Pradère, op. cit., p. 128.).

Inspired by the virtuosity of the celebrated 18th century maker, Beurdeley is known to have produced a number of examples of the present bureau plat, including the present lot, which bare his hallmarks of precise construction and finely chased mounts. An identical bureau plat sold Christie’s, Paris, 17 April 2012, lot 423 (94,600 €).

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