A fine French Transitional-style second half 19th century ormolu-mounted, kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, marquetry and parquetry cylindre bureau de dame  attributed to Sormani, Paris
Lot 159
A fine French second half 19th century Transitional-style ormolu-mounted, kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, marquetry and parquetry bureau de dame à cylindre attributed to Paul Sormani (1817 - 1877), Paris
£25,000 - 35,000
US$ 40,000 - 56,000

Lot Details
A fine French Transitional-style second half 19th century ormolu-mounted, kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, marquetry and parquetry cylindre bureau de dame  attributed to Sormani, Paris A fine French Transitional-style second half 19th century ormolu-mounted, kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, marquetry and parquetry cylindre bureau de dame  attributed to Sormani, Paris
A fine French second half 19th century Transitional-style ormolu-mounted, kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, marquetry and parquetry bureau de dame à cylindre
attributed to Paul Sormani (1817 - 1877), Paris
the rectangular top edged by a pierced gallery and inlaid with a Classical portrait medallion between a pair of urns, all against a trellis parquetry ground, the slide-operated cylinder centred by a marquetry scène champêtre of a village by a river, all in a shaped amaranth-banded cartouche, flanked to either side by a tied foliate trophy, that on the left emblematic of the Arts, and that on the right emblematic of War, the cylinder enclosing an arrangement of five floral marquetry-decorated short drawers, one fitted with divisions, the apron enclosing a drawer inlaid to its shaped front with three village scenes, all within strapwork borders, the drawer fitted with three lidded compartments, the central lid inlaid with musical trophies and fitted to the underside with a mirror, the outer compartments both inlaid to the lid with a Neo-Classical urn, the slightly bombé sides both inlaid with an urn upon a pedestal within a floral garland, the rear inlaid with a trophy emblematic of War, applied to the angles with acanthus-cast helmeted herms and masks, raised on four cabriole harebell-inlaid legs terminating in paw-cast sabots, 83cm wide, 52cm deep, 104.5cm high (32.5" wide, 20" deep, 41" high).

Footnotes

  • For an almost identical bureau, inlaid with the same scenes and parquetry, the lock engraved SORMANI PARIS 134, Bould Haussmann, and one of the mounts signed Sormani Paris, see Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 16th April 2007, Lot 243.

    A period example of the present model is in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (Jones Collection, accession number 1043:3-1882). Peter Thornton has noted that the designs of the marquetry trophies are nearly identical to engravings by J.C. Delafosse and dated the museum's sécretaire to shortly after the volume's publication in 1767.

    Nineteenth-century examples are known to have been made by Paul-Charles Sormani, with a notable example exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. At the time, Sormani referred to it as the "secrétaire du South Kensington" in reference to the previously mentioned example at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Another example by Sormani was delivered to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, by the decorator George Glaenzer and is now in the permanent collection of Château-sur-mer in Newport, Rhode Island, illustrated in C. Mestdagh (p. 190).

    Literature:
    Camille Mestdagh, L'ameublement d'art français (1850-1900), les editions de l'amateur, 2010.
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