A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle

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Lot 153* TP Y
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen
circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle

Sold for £ 62,500 (US$ 75,879) inc. premium
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen
circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
Inlaid both premier partie and contrepartie with stylised flowers, C-scrolls, rosettes, scrolled acanthus, husk swags, bellflower pendants and a ribbon-tied canopy, the breakfront moulded marble top above a mounted panel headed by a pair of addorsed foliate scrolled putti mask mounts, flanking a flowerhead and husk draped circular medallion enclosing a profile bust of Louis XIV in relief below the inscription: 'LUDOVICUS MAGNUS REX', surmounted by a scallop shell, over a central raised tablet-mounted door with a stylised scroll inlaid cavetto surround, enclosing four drawers, within a stiff-leaf mount border, over two acanthus capped hairy lion paw feet flanking a central Ceres mask, with eight opposing oak-lined side drawers, each centred with a ribbon-tied oak leaf wreath escutcheon, the base with patera mount angles, on ormolu spiral turned toupie feet, interior of lock stamped: 'SOUCHET, A PARIS', 79cm wide x 50cm deep x 116cm high, (31in wide x 19 1/2in deep x 45 1/2in high)

Footnotes

  • Previously at auction a meuble d'appui attributed to Winckelsen, which is almost exactly the same as the present lot, featured Sotheby's, New York, 13-14 April 2016, Collection: European Decorative Arts, lot 577. One of very few distinctions between these cabinets is the central marquetry door. However it must be noted that the internal facing of the door on the Sotheby's version has an identical 'Boulle' marquetry pattern, albeit inlaid contrepartie, to the marquetry on the front of the door on the offered cabinet (which is inlaid premiere partie).

    A comparable pair also attributed to Winckelsen, dated circa 1865, and having Rothschild family provenance, sold Christie's, New York, 9 October 2013, The Art of Collecting: Three Private Collections, lot 605. As well as being of equivalent design, these have numerous elements in common with the present example. Although the former have unusual and arguably rather incongruous hinged tops rather than the marble slabs which are more typically used, as on the offered model.

    Also significantly the lock plates on both the Christie's and Sotheby's cabinets have the same 'Souchet, A Paris' serrurerie stamps as that which is impressed to the interior of the lock on the present meuble d'appui. The appearance of this particular name along with the high quality oak construction of all the aforementioned models are characteristics typically associated with the oeuvre of Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen.

    Further related versions include a pair of Henry Dasson meubles d'appui, dated 1875 and 1878, which sold Sotheby's, New York, 20 April 2007, 19th Century Furniture, lot 213. As well as a slightly later cabinet by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener, incorporating an identical marquetry inlaid door to the offered lot, which also appeared at Sotheby's, 30 October 2013, 19th Century Furniture, lot 25.

    A Brief History of the Boulle Model
    The Louvre houses a pair of cabinets originally executed by Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) in circa 1700, but which evidently underwent various alterations and restorations over the course of subsequent centuries, and in particular during the 19th century (OA 5453-4). These appear to follow in some respects a Boulle design for a cabinet-on-stand dated 1685 which now resides at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, also in Paris (723-C-2).

    A pair of this type by Etienne Levasseur (1721-1798), dated circa 1775, feature at The Wallace Collection since they had previously belonged to Richard Seymour-Conway the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who was its founder (F391-2). The Wallace examples were even exhibited in Paris at the Musee Retrospectif of 1865 where they must have undoubtedly influenced further similar 'Boulle' copies and possibly even inspired the making of the offered lot.

    Another model, apparently produced in either the 1780s or 1790s by Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820) and possibly adapted from a Boulle original, was bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum by the renowned 19th century collector, John Jones (1118:3-1882).

    In the celebrated Frick Collection a related pair of English mid-19th century cabinets themselves follow a model that was probably originally made in Boulle's workshop between 1710 and 1725 (1916.5.4-05). The latter now forms part of the Wrightsman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1974.39I.2).

    Literature
    D. Alcouffe, A. Dion-Tenenbaum & A. Lefebure, Furniture Collections in the Louvre, Vol. I,1993, Dijon, pp.'s 64-69, fig. 18.
    P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, Vol. II, 1996, London, pp.'s 585-594, No. 127.
    D. DuBon & T. Dell, The Frick Collection, Italian and French Furniture, Vol. V, 1992, New York, pp.'s 247-257.
Contacts
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
A Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted tortoiseshell, brass and pewter 'Boulle' marquetry ebony meuble d'appui attributed to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen circa 1865, after the models by Andre-Charles Boulle
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Y CITES

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