A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED, IVORY, MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PEWTER-INLAID KINGWOOD. AMARANTH AND PARQUETRY SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED, IVORY, MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PEWTER-INLAID KINGWOOD. AMARANTH AND PARQUETRY SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT

BY CLAUDE MATHIEU MAGNIEN, CIRCA 1780

Details
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED, IVORY, MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PEWTER-INLAID KINGWOOD. AMARANTH AND PARQUETRY SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT
BY CLAUDE MATHIEU MAGNIEN, CIRCA 1780
Inlaid overall with architectural capricci, the later shaped rectangular white marble top above a frieze drawer, the fall-front revealing a fitted interior with four pigeon-holes, six drawers and a gilt-tooled green leather writing-surface, above a pair of doors enclosing a fitted shelf, on bracket feet, stamped 'C.M.MAGNIEN' and 'JME', possibly remounted
56 in. (142 cm.) high; 38 in. (97 cm.) wide; 16 ½ in. (42 cm.) deep
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.
All sold and unsold lots marked with a filled square in the catalogue that are not cleared from Christie’s by 5:00 pm on the day of the sale, and all sold and unsold lots not cleared from Christie’s by 5:00 pm on the fifth Friday following the sale, will be removed to the warehouse of ‘Cadogan Tate’. Please note that there will be no charge to purchasers who collect their lots within two weeks of this sale.

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

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Claude Mathieu Magnien, maître in 1771.
This striking secrétaire à motifs d’architecture forms part of a group of furniture decorated with marquetry panels depicting classical capricci and views of Rome. These marquetry panels were admired for their painterly effect and evoked memories of sights seen and sensations experienced while on the Grand Tour. Architectural marquetry panels were often inspired by the works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Hubert Robert (1733-1808), while other pictorial marquetry panels featuring arcaded ruins were often based on engraved sources, for instance a series of eight engravings by P.-F. Basan, derived from a painting by P.-A. de Machy (1723-1807), who was acknowledged as an expert painter of architecture and ruins: in L’Avant-Coureur, 23 January 1764, he was described as ‘l’unique en ce genre’ (G. de Bellaigue, 'Ruins in Marquetry', Apollo, January 1968, p. 20). These pictorial marquetry panels are frequently very closely related while being stamped by various ébénistes, rendering a firm attribution to the marquetry difficult. It has been convincingly suggested that specialist marqueteurs, such as Christophe Wolff (maître in 1755), Charles Topino (maître in 1773) and André-Louis Gilbert (maître in 1774), supplied marquetry panels to other ébénistes to construct their own furniture around (G. de Bellaigue, 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth-Century Marqueteur', Burlington Magazine, May 1965, pp. 240-250 and July 1965, pp. 356-363). This is almost certainly the case for the present secrétaire stamped by Claude Mathieu Magnien, who, in addition to his own atelier, also ran a magasin de toutes sortes de meubles where it is possible he stamped furniture by other craftsmen (P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIème siècle, Paris, 1989, p. 542).

More from Glebe House, Mont Pellier and Woodbury House: Three Country House Collections

View All
View All