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A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE
A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE
A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE
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A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more
A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE

ATTRIBUTED TO CHRISTIAN MEYER, ST. PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1790

Details
A RUSSIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, AMARANTH, SYCAMORE, MARQUETRY AND PARQUETRY GAMES TABLE
ATTRIBUTED TO CHRISTIAN MEYER, ST. PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1790
With rectangular hinged crossbanded top centrally inlaid with a musical trophy surrounded by scrolling foliage and Greek-key banding enclosing a baize-lined playing surface within similar banding and wells, the frieze inlaid with ribbon-tied swags and fitted with drawers, on square tapering legs headed by paterae and guttae ending in block feet, with a paper label stencilled No 114 and another of the restorer Gustaf Frederikson, Mariefred, December 1956
29 ¾ in. (75.5 cm.) high, 37 ¾ in. (96 cm.) wide, 19 in. (48.5 cm.) deep, closed
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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Jonathan Rendell Private Collections & Country House Sales

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Lot Essay

This exquisitely-inlaid games table is iconic of the superb skills of cabinetmakers who supplied the upper echelon of aristocratic society and the Imperial court of the late eighteenth century. Its superb marquetry relates the present lot to the oeuvre of Christian Meyer, who is rightly regarded as the best Saint Petersburg cabinetmaker of the late 1700s. He was the only one who was called 'the Empress's' joiner and highly praised as the one who 'could be taken on trust'. His first commissions in 1784 were for the Empress' favorite A. D. Lansky for his home in Saint Petersburg. As a manufacturer of intricate floorings, Meyer's name also features in 1786 documents, having supplied parquetry for the Raphael Loggias in the Hermitage, commissioned by the Empress herself. Typical for eighteenth-century Russian woodworkers, Meyer was skilled in the laying of intricate parquet as well as the techniques of fine marquetry cutting for the decoration of furniture, such as the present lot. By 1793 Meyer had about fifty craftsmen working in his workshop, allowing him to produce elaborate pieces for the court in relative short time.
The present table shows many similarities with a pair of card tables by Christian Meyer that were delivered circa 1795 for the private apartments of Catherine the Great at the Winter Palace and sold Christie’s, London, 7 July 2011, lot 29 (£301,250). Both lots share the same type of “Etruscan” inlay overall, the tops’ arabesque marquetry framed by a pronounced decorative border, and the bicolor inlaid legs embellished with basically identical floral marquetry. Furthermore, the same exotic woods, tulipwood and amaranth, were used as secondary decorative timbers on both lots. Interestingly, the top of the present lot is centered by a large medallion, similarly to a pair of tables attributed to Meyer and sold Christie’s, London, 6 July 2012, lot 254 (£253,250). The roundel of the present lot is inlaid with an image of sheet music and string instruments, suggesting that this table might have been intended for an interior where music was played or for a client who was particularly interested in the art of music and might have been even an amateur musician.

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