A French early 19th century Empire ormolu-mounted mahogany and burr walnut secrétaire à abattant
Lot 108
A French early 19th century Empire ormolu-mounted mahogany and burr walnut secrétaire in the manner of Jacob Desmalter, Paris
Sold for £10,000 (US$ 16,188) inc. premium

Lot Details
A French early 19th century Empire ormolu-mounted mahogany and burr walnut secrétaire à abattant
A French early 19th century Empire ormolu-mounted mahogany and burr walnut secrétaire
in the manner of Jacob Desmalter, Paris
the rectangular black portor marble top above a long frieze drawer applied to the ends with a pair of gilt metal helmeted bust mounts and to the centre with a winged Classical bust medallion between anthemia, all above an arrangement of drawers and secret drawers around a mirrored architectural niche with chequer-inlaid parquet floor, a flight of burr walnut-veneered steps before it, all beneath a barrel vault raised on acanthus-capped tapering columns, the base with long drawer above a mirror panel, flanked by a pair of scrolling supports terminating in gilt paw feet and carved with acanthus to the knee, both supports concealing a button to open a panelled door at either side, enclosing three slides, possibly lacking front panel, 92.5cm wide, 46.5cm deep, 137.5cm high (36" wide, 18" deep, 54" high).

Footnotes

  • A restauration mahogany console table, stamped Jacob and featuring similar front supports, was offered Christie's Amsterdam, 30 June 2004, lot 246.
    Related furniture supports by Georges Alphonse Jacob Desmalter are illustrated in Denise Ledoux Lebard, Les Ebenistes du XIX Siècle, Paris, 1965, pp. 361, 363 and 365. A group of secrétaires à abbatant associated with the same maker and including arrangements of secret drawers, were offered at Sotheby's London, 28 October 2009, lot 89, Sotheby's Paris, 14 April 2010,lot 144 (€ 312,750) and in the same rooms, 20 April 2012, lot 174. Both of the latter two lots incorporated mounts attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire. The present cabinet is unusual in that it does not feature a fall-front enclosing the fitted interior of the upper section, although mortices recessed into the surmounting frieze indicate the possible former existence of a removable front panel.
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