A Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Pedestals After Jean-Henri Riesener
A Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Pedestals After Jean-Henri Riesener
A Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Pedestals After Jean-Henri Riesener
A Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Pedestals After Jean-Henri Riesener

LEON KAHN (worked from c.1875)

A Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Pedestals After Jean-Henri Riesener

c. 1880 France

Offered by Adrian Alan

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A Very Fine Pair of Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany Pedestals After the Model by Jean-Henri Riesener the Bronze Mounts by Léon Kahn.

Each pedestal has a brèche violette marble top with canted corners above a frieze centred by a finely cast Apollo sunburst mask. The angles of each pedestal are embellished with acanthus-cast scrolled volutes hung with foliate festoons. The front panels are mounted with finely chiselled gilt-bronze mounts, incorporating a vase issuing scrolling foliage, floral swags and musical trophies. The pedestals are raised on lion paw feet put down on shaped plinth bases, on toupie feet.

The pedestals are based on the celebrated model made circa 1785, surmounted by a clock adorned by cloud-born putti, attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener and now in the permanent collection of the Musée du Louvre (cat. C.Dr., No 185).

This was one of the most popular of the eighteenth century models admired and copied by the finest cabinetmakers of the late nineteenth century.

Jean-Henri Riesener (1735-1806) lived in Paris and was the foremost cabinet-maker of his generation and the successor to the court patronage of Jean-Francois Oeben, whose widow he married in 1767.

From 1774 to 1784, Riesener supplied more than 938,000 livres worth of furniture to the Garde Meuble Royal. He was responsible for many important contributions to the formation of the Louis XVI style in France, of which he was undoubtedly the master.

Riesener began his career for the monarchy with the roll-top desk for Louis XV placed in his inner study. Commissioned in 1760 from his father-in-law and master Œben, it is a piece of furniture exceptional for its novelty, the refinement of its marquetry, the quality of its bronze details and above all the ingeniousness of its mechanism: all the desk closes with a single turn of the key and opens just by pressing a button. Completed in 1769, it was modified by him during the Revolution when he had to remove the royal symbols. The prestige of this piece of furniture was immense and definitively established the reputation of Riesener.

From this time on, there was no shortage of commissions from the court and for ten years he was the principal supplier to the royal residences. But his outrageous prices lost him a part of his clientele which turned to his rival Beneman. Marie-Antoinette, however, remained faithful to him. Riesener produced his most graceful and innovative pieces of furniture for Marie-Antoinette: In particular for her boudoir at Fontainebleau, he produced fragile furniture decorated with mother-of-pearl that was unique in its genre. Pearl was a particularly exotic material at that time and using it to cover the entire surface of an object was the height of luxury.

His furniture was much copied during the nineteenth century, in particular the 'Bureau du Roi' at Versailles, of which a superb version was made for the 4th Marquess of Hertford and is now in the Wallace Collection.

Maker Bibliography:

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise 'Les Ebenistes du XIX Siecle', Editions de l'Amateur (Paris), 1984. p.555

Kopf, Silas, 'A marquetry odyssey: Historical objects and Personal work', First edition, 2008, p.109
D. Alcouffe, Furniture Collection in the Louvre, Dijon, 1993, vol I, p. 286, no. 96
Height 146.00 cm (57.48 inches)
Width 52.00 cm (20.47 inches)
Depth 33.00 cm (12.99 inches)
Stock Code
Mahogany, Gilt-Bronze
Stamped 'L KAHN' to the reverse of the gilt-bronze frames to the sides. Stamped variously to the reverse of the bronze mounts, 'K', and 'KAHN'.
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
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