A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE
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A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 9-19)
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE

ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN-HENRI RIESENER, CIRCA 1780

Details
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY TABLE A ECRIRE
ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN-HENRI RIESENER, CIRCA 1780
The shaped top surrounded by a one third pierced scrolling leaves ormolu gallery cast with leaf tips, with a later brass inlaid band, above a mechanical sliding and reversing adjustable reading stand, above two frieze drawers, the inner surface to both later relined, the larger with a sliding green-leather writing surface, the smaller drawer with a writing compartment fitted with gilt-metal and cut-glass writing implements, the breakfront frieze centred by interlacing scrolling acanthus leaves, centred by a floral escutcheon, the front frieze flanked by two rosette-filled ring handles, with leaf tipped encadrements, on square tapering legs with stringing and headed with floral garlands, terminating in acanthus sabots, stencilled with inventory number '177' to the underside and mounted with collector's plate to the underside engraved 'K' in a lozenge and '212'; originally with a mechanism linked to screens ascending and descending
28 ¼ in. (72 cm.) high; 25 ¾ in. (65.5 cm.) wide; 17 in. (43 cm.) deep
Provenance
The collection of Monsieur George Blumenthal, 1932, lot 169.
The collection of Madame Dolores Kilvert, New York.
The René Fribourg Collection: III, his sale, Sotheby's, London, part I, 28 June 1963, lot 224.
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.
This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s 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 it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

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Peter Horwood
Peter Horwood

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Lot Essay


Jean-Henri Riesener, maître in 1768.
This magnificent mahogany table à écrire enriched with jewel-like ormolu mounts can undoubtedly be attributed to the oeuvre of the celebrated ébéniste Jean-Henri Riesener. It belongs to a small group of tables of similar scale and related mounts, most of which were delivered to members of the French Royal family. The closest example is a desk of identical shape with the same unusual and audacious curved sides. This desk, veneered in amaranth and satinwood, was delivered circa 1780 probably for the château des Tuileries and subsequently moved to the château de Saint-Cloud, and is now in the Musée du Louvre (inv. num. OA5481). The finely chased ormolu mounts to the frieze visible on the present, with elaborate entwined scrolling acanthus leaves centered with a sunflower, is identical to the one visible on another writing table delivered in 1783 for the apartment of Marie-Antoinette at Marly, now at the Museum of Art, Philadelphia (acc. num. 1939-41-8). The same frieze mount is also visible on a table by Riesener at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (acc. num. 1942.9.409). The superb pierced scrolling foliage one-third gallery of the present table’s top is a rare feature in Riesener’s oeuvre, and is only visible on some smaller scale tables including the chiffonnière from Marie-Antoinette’s cabinet at Marly, delivered in 1781, now at Scone Palace, Perthshire, Scotland; and on the table à écrire delivered in 1782 for the Queen’s boudoir de la Méridienne at Versailles, now at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire.
Its unusual shape, with curved sides, reveals a hidden function actioned by a mechanism originally concealed under the top, releasing a silk screen raising from the top and sliding between the back legs. This rare technical feature, conceived to protect its owner from the heat of a nearby fireplace, and the revolving book stand are both to be found on another rare table attributed to Riesener, sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 6 November 1982, lot 142.

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