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A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY BUREAU-PLAT
PROPERTY FROM A CALIFORNIA COLLECTION (LOT 329)
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY BUREAU-PLAT

BY CLAUDE CHARLES SAUNIER, CIRCA 1780

Details
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY BUREAU-PLAT
BY CLAUDE CHARLES SAUNIER, CIRCA 1780
The three-quarter gallery surrounding a leather-lined writing surface, above a central frieze drawer flanked by two smaller drawers and a fitted coffre fort and two leather-lined writing slides to the sides, with a single central frieze drawer to the other side, stamped CC SAUNIER to underneath the right side, accession number inscribed in red paint 70.7.7, possibly converted from a cylinder bureau with the gallery and back frieze drawer probably later alterations
30 in. (77 cm.), 49½ in. (126 cm.) wide, 32 in. (81 cm.) deep
Provenance
Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Pittsburgh, bequeathed to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Museum of Art de-accession; Christie's, New York, 18 October, 2002, lot 685.

Lot Essay

Claude Charles Saunier, maître in 1752.

Saunier was accepted into the workshop of his father, Jean-Charles, in 1752. Located in the rue Faubourg Saint-Antoine, the premises had originally been occupied by his grandfather, Charles. Upon his succession to his father's workshop in 1765, Claude-Charles registered his letters patent and continued the business. He briefly continued to adopt the Louis XV style and then rapidly adopted the neoclassic designs of the Transitional and Louis XVI periods that he appears to have favored, and for which he is now renowned. Saunier's success was not confined to France and his reputation reached London where, through his work for the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, he supplied, among other collectors, Lord Spencer.

A secretaire à abattant by Saunier displaying very similar trellis parquetry was sold anonymously, Sotheby's, New York, 31 October 1986, lot 101 ($38,500). An identical secretaire, if not the same, is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIeme Siècle, Paris, 1989, p.777.

A bureau plat of nearly identical shape and with very similar parquetry and mounts by the celebrated Jean-Henri Riesener, which had belonged to Sir Charles Mills, 1st Bt. or his son Charles 1st Lord Hillingdon and then by descent to 4th Lord Hillingdon, was sold by The Trustees of Lord Hillingdon, Christie's London, 29 June 1972, lot 92, and again anonymously at Christie's London, 6 December 1984, lot 83.

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