A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE
A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE
A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE
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A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more
A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE

AFTER THE MODEL BY JOSEPH BAUMHAUER, THE MOUNTS CAST BY VICTOR PAILLARD AND PICARD FRERES, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

Details
A LARGE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND BRASS-INLAID EBONIZED LIBRARY TABLE
AFTER THE MODEL BY JOSEPH BAUMHAUER, THE MOUNTS CAST BY VICTOR PAILLARD AND PICARD FRERES, PARIS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
The rectangular paneled top with acanthus and entrelac surround, above a Greek-key frieze set with a pair of drawers and leather-lined writing slides, one writing slide and one drawer applied with Trollope & Colls, Ltd. shipping label 'HIS GRACE / THE DUKE OF WESTMINSTER G.C.V.O. / EATON HALL' and further inscribed in pencil 'The Ante-Drawing Room', on eight tapering stop-fluted legs joined by ribbon tied laurel swags, each capped with acanthus, the surround stamped 'VP' above a crown for Victor Paillard, the reverse of one wreath stamped 'PICARD FES', the reverse of the mounts variously stamped 'FF'
34 in. (86.5 cm.) high, 81 ½ in. (207 cm.) wide, 43 ½ in. (110.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, the Library, Eaton Hall, Cheshire, by 1885.
Acquired from Segoura, Paris.
Literature
Grosvenor Estate Archive, Ms. EV951, Inventory of Eaton, 1885.


COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
G. de Bellaigue, "Edward Holmes Baldock: Part I," The Connoisseur, vol. 189, 1976, pp. 290-298.
J. Harris, "Early Neo-Classical Furniture," Furniture History, vol. 2, London, 1966, pp. 1-6.
S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, London, pp. 85-89.
P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIème Siècle, Paris, 1989, p. 448-449.
F.J.B. Watson, Louis XVI Furniture, London, no. 109.
A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, pp. 230-246.
M. Levy, “E.H. Baldock and the Blake Family: Further Evidence”, Furniture History Society Newsletter, No. 158, May 2005, pp. 1-3.
C. Payne, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, London, 2018, p. 149.
Special notice
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

ANGE-LAURENT LALIVE DE JULLY AND LE GOUT GREC
Of palatial proportions and suspending weighty berried-laurel swags, this exceptional library table is a 19th century homage to 1750s ‘avant-garde’ furnishings in the goût grec taste. No other piece of furniture is so widely regarded as propelling the movement, particularly at a time when the Rococo was still the prevailing taste in Europe, than the celebrated bureau and cartonnier executed for Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully (d. 1779). Conceived en suite with a fauteuil de bureau, two tables (of which one is included in this sale as lot 111), the cabinetry is that of Joseph Baumhauer (d. 1772) and bronzier Philippe Caffiéri (d. 1774) executed to the designs of the architect Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain (d. 1759). The bureau was sold at auction in 1770 when his collection was dispersed and subsequently acquired by the Duc d’Aumale in 1882 at the Hamilton Palace sale (now in the Musée Condé de Chantilly) and served as an enduring inspiration for generations of French cabinet-makers.
A variant example, circa 1770, now attributed to Baumhauer and so clearly steeped in the goût grec vernacular of the Lalive de Jully model, almost certainly served as the definitive inspiration for the present lot in the 19th century. Formerly inthe collection of Sir Anthony de Rothschild (see F. Watson, Louis XVI Furniture , London, 1960, p.126, fig.109), the table is stamped by the little-known ébéniste E.-J. Cuvellier. Baumhauer’s distinctive and extraordinary design is on full display with the subtle use of a modified Greek key frieze in place of the Vitruvian scroll, and fully-sculpted berried boughs perforating the neoclassic outline.
The model had spread outside the sphere of a rarefied group of 'avant-garde' patrons and collectors both in the 18th and 19th centuries. A related table, appears in a 1762 portrait of Prince Dmitri Golitsyn by Drouais (Pushkin Museum, no. 864) and in a portrait of the Marquis d'Ossuna, attributed to Drouais (National Gallery, Washington). Furthermore, examples in a similar combination of mounts à la grecque are recorded:
- an undated example at Château du Marais, shown in situ circa 1899, and subsequently sold by the duchesse de Sagan, daughter of Boni de Castellane (illustrated E. Mension-Rigau, Boni de Castellan, Paris, 2008).
- an undated example illustrated at the Royal Palace at Laeken, Brussels (illustrated at the abdication of Leopold III, 16 June 1951).
- an unattributed 19th century example, sold Partridge, Christie’s, New York, 17 May 2006, lot 130 ($240,000).
- an example by Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen, circa 1867-71 (see C. Payne, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, 2018, p. 149).
- a presumably late 19th century example illustrated in the Beurdeley archive, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, though no record exists confirming manufacture by Beurdeley (ibid).
Most interestingly, a drawing of a nearly identical bureau and cartonnier was included in a 1838 letter from an agent for William Lowther, 2nd Earl Lonsdale, expressing fervent admiration for ‘a very fine table at Baldocks in Ebony & gold, it is one of the best things I have seen in a long time’ (see inset illustration, The Record Office, Carlisle). Despite his agent’s effusive praise, no such bureau correlates with Lonsdale inventories in the 19th century, nor in the sale of the collection in 1879. Furthermore, Payne speculates that the Baldock desk may have been an 18th century desk with 19th century embellishments (see C. Payne, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, 2018, p. 149). Such modifications to furniture and objects, a number of which bear the ‘EHB’ stamp even when passing through the firm’s hands, were commonplace practices. The renowned London-based ‘china dealer’ was recorded as '...buying and selling, exchanging and valuing china, cabinets, screens, bronzes etc' by 1826 from their Hanway Street premises. Acting very much in the tradition of the French marchands-merciers, Baldock was able to procure pieces from auction in London, notably from Christie’s, and from the Continent as he found a ready market for them among the English royalty and aristocracy. Among his patrons were King George IV for whom he purchased works in the London salerooms, the Dukes of Northumberland and William Lowther to whom he sold a collection of mounted porcelains and furnishings in the 1820s, some with recorded modifications (see G. de Bellaigue, "Edward Holmes Baldock: Part I," The Connoisseur, vol. 189, 1976, p. 293).
The proliferation of 19th century replicas of 18th century French furniture, particularly those favored by England’s well-heeled francophiles, has been examined in depth in recent scholarship Payne, who has shed new light on the fraternity of the pre-eminent mid-to-late 19th century ébénistes and the exchange of mount patterns among their various workshops. French-manufactured 19th century models of the present model are known to have been produced by the late 1860s by Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen, and one could extrapolate that the Baldock designs may have been available to either John Webb or Blake of London. For example, a selection of master models from the latter, specifically for those to produce the Trianon commodes, are known to have eventually passed to Winckelsen.
Perhaps the strongest case study of this phenomenon is that of the aforementioned commodes made by André-Charles Boulle and supplied in 1708 for the bed-chamber of Louis XIV at the Grand Trianon, Versailles. Another 18th century example entered the collection of the Dukes of Hamilton at Hamilton Palace, which had been loaned by the 11th Duke for the Specimens of Cabinet Work exhibition at Gore House in 1853. Here it was admired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, founder of
the collection of which a large part became The Wallace Collection. Lord Hertford obtained permission from the Duke of Hamilton to have a replica of the commode made, entrusting the task to the co-organizer of the exhibition, John Webb. In turn, Webb appears to have subcontracted the work to an anonymous cabinet-maker who, to all intents and purposes, was almost certainly Blake of London. The model was highly popular with the best Parisian ébénistes during the latter half of the 19th century, and examples were produced from the 1860s by Fourdinois (for whom Victor Paillard produced bronze mountings), Winckelsen, Dasson, Zwiener, Beurdeley and Linke, each maker having in turn either owned or had access to master patterns. A pair of such commodes by Winckelsen bearing the ‘Blake London’ incised in the master model, was sold Christie’s, New York, 7 June 2008, 2011, lot 343.
Furthermore, given this well-documented scholarship, it is entirely feasible that the distinctive goût grec bronze models were available among the close-knit community of Parisian bronziers, such as Paillard and Picard, whose workshops were in close proximity to the Faubourg ateliers.
THE BRONZIERS
The present table incorporates finely-cast bronzes from two prominent bronziers of the Second Empire, Victor Paillard and Picard Frères, presumably of the Henri Picard family of fondeurs. Paillard apprenticed as a ‘bronze chaser’ under Jean-François Denière, the celebrated bronzier who supplied works to the château de Fontainebleau, the Grand Trianon at Versailles and had been favored by Carlos IV, King of Spain. His training was generously afforded by the comte de Guzman who recognized Paillard’s enterprising spirit. By the 1830s he had established his own foundry for Bronze d'art et d'ameublement at 105 boulevard Beaumarchais and regularly exhibited at the Expositions universelles duing the third quarter of the 19th century. His commissions and accolades were seemingly boundless, including a commission for a dressing table for Empress Eugénie, bronze furniture mounts for the haute-luxe firm of Fourdinois, the Prix Croatzier and a daille dor at the Paris 1867 Exposition universelle (see C. Payne, p. 483).
A contemporary of Paillard, the Parisian fondeur and doreur Henri Picard was based at 6 rue Jarente in 1831, moving to 10 rue de la Perle in 1839. Equally skilled as his compatriot, Picard worked on the petits appartements of Emperor Napoleon III at the Louvre and supplied an extensive surtout de table to Emperor Franz Joseph now in Hofburg Silberkammer, Vienna.
The cabinet-work of the present lot remains unknown, as works fitted with Paillard or Picard’s mounts are often unstamped, as is the case with the present lot (ibid, p. 483). The existence of both bronziers’ marks on a single work is not unusual and has been documented on table-top objects at public auction. Given the scale of the piece, the bronze casting and chasing may have been sub-contracted to multiple foundries.
EATON HALL PROVENANCE
The present lot first appears in the 1885 inventory of the enormous library at Eaton Hall, the principal seat of the Dukes of Westminster. The storied history of Eaton Hall spans a number of significant transformations, notably that of Hugh Grosvenor (d. 1899), 1st Duke of Westminster, who commissioned an extensive renovation from 1870-1882 under the direction of architect Alfred Waterhouse. The palatial Victorian residence, upon completion, was considered among the most magnificent and opulent residences in England.
While it cannot be confirmed when the present bureau entered the collection, it is all but certain it was in-house following Waterhouse’s renovations. A table in the 1885 Eaton Hall inventory (EV 951) is described as ‘6.9 x 3.8 Square ebony table fitted with ornamental brass fret work and swag on 8 carved fluted legs, 2 drawers’. Despite the curious ‘square’ description, the table appears in a series of photographs from the 20th century later show the bureau in both the Library and the nearby Saloon (see inset illustration). According to the affixed Trollope & Colls, Ltd. shipping label, it also stood at one time in the shallow ‘Ante-Drawing Room’. Furthermore, it remains unknown when the table left the collection, as the piece is not recorded in the 1946, 1955 or 1959 public auctions held by the 3rd Duke of Westminster prior to Eaton Hall’s demolition in 1961.

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