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A PAIR OF ORMOLU, MARBLE AND SEVRES STYLE TURQUOISE-GROUND PORCELAIN-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONIZED SECRETAIRES A ABATTANT
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF MARGARET B. NICHOLS (LOTS 520-528)
A PAIR OF ORMOLU, MARBLE AND SEVRES STYLE TURQUOISE-GROUND PORCELAIN-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONIZED SECRETAIRES A ABATTANT

PROBABLY ENGLISH, MID-19TH CENTURY

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A PAIR OF ORMOLU, MARBLE AND SEVRES STYLE TURQUOISE-GROUND PORCELAIN-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONIZED SECRETAIRES A ABATTANT PROBABLY ENGLISH, MID-19TH CENTURY Each with rectangular brocatelle marble top over a conforming scrolled foliate frieze, above a central fall-front set with gilt-decorated porcelain plaques painted with fêtes gallantes, the interior fitted with a pigeon hole and four short drawers, flanked by a pair of Campan Rubané marble columns, above a shaped apron set with a spring-activated drawer, on scrolled male and female term supports joined by an ormolu-molded undertier and mirrored backsplash 55¼ in. (140.3 cm.) high, 30¼ in. (76.7 cm.) wide, 17 in. (43.2 cm.) deep (2)

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Lot Essay

These exquisite cabinets demonstrate the skill with which the preeminent mid-19th century English cabinetmakers worked in the style of the French ancien régime. Combining high-style French elements (Sèvres style plaques and the coat-of-arms of the Le Tellier family) and top English construction (fine dovetailing and quarter-molding to the interior of the frieze drawers), the cabinets reflect a taste championed by only a small number of reputable firms.

Edward Holmes Baldock and Blake of London, both active in the 1840s and 1850s, repeatedly exhibited pieces in the French style, such as a porcelain-mounted and ebony veneered secrétaire by Blake and a pair of porcelain and rosewood meubles d'appui by Baldock offered at Sotheby's, London, 28 October 2009, lot 77 and Sotheby's, New York, 19 April 2007, lot 123, respectively. The work of both firms embody the very fashionable taste of the period for haute furnishings of nearly a century earlier.

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