A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)  second half 19th century

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Lot 1176W Y
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui
after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)
second half 19th century

Sold for US$ 103,700 inc. premium
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui
after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)
second half 19th century
The rectangular Vert Maurin marble top of breakfront outline over a leaf tip frieze above a portrait medallion of Louis XIV inscribed LUDOVICUS MAGNUS REX flanked by laurel-crowned representations of the wind and bellflower swags over a central cupboard door inlaid with arabesques, swags and trailing foliage enclosing four small drawers and flanked to either side by four short drawers with seconde partie marquetry and unusual ribband-twist escutcheons, on spirally turned legs.
height 46in (118cm); width 30in (76cm); depth 19 1/2in (50cm)

Footnotes

  • This cabinet is based on a pair of cabinets created by the celebrated ébéniste André-Charles Boulle for Louis XIV, today housed in the Louvre, Paris. Boulle worked at the Louvre Palace from 1672, and although he did not invent the technique of combining brass, tortoiseshell and pewter marquetry, he elevated the art to such a high level that his name remains forever associated with it.

    Cabinets such as these were often created in pairs, for when the cabinetmaker had completed the première partie (first part) marquetry of metal on a tortoiseshell ground, with the unused brass, pewter and tortoiseshell he could create a second piece in a negative image of the first: the seconde, or contrepartie. The creation of Boulle marquetry requires commensurate skill on the part of the artisan, as the materials are fragile and difficult to work with. The present cabinet, although unsigned, is obviously the work of a master craftsman, who has taken certain elements directly from Boulle's oeuvre and - in a typically nineteenth-century display of panache - re-interpreted others, such as the central cupboard door panel with its elegant strapwork and arabesque decoration, the combination of première and contrepartie in the same piece, or the fanciful ribband-edged escutcheons adorning the lateral drawers.

    Literature:
    Daniel Alcouffe, Le Mobilier du Musée du Louvre, Editions Faton, 1993, pp 64-69.
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)  second half 19th century
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)  second half 19th century
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)  second half 19th century
A fine Louis XIV style gilt bronze mounted pewter, brass and tortoiseshell première and contrepartie ebonized meuble d'appui after a model by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)  second half 19th century
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