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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Antique French Empire Ormoulu Mounted Desk c.1880"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
The desk has a useful pair of slides that pull out on each side to provide extra working space when needed.
The original leather inset writing surface on the desk top and on the pair of slides has been hand dyed and highlighted with fabulous hand tooled gold leaf decoration. This desk was made from superb quality solid mahogany, the drawers have hand cut dovetails and the drawer linings are also of solid mahogany.
It has elegant ormolu mounts, typical of the Empire period which when combined with the beautiful flame mahogany makes for a spectacular look.
Instill the elegance of a bygone era to a special place in your home with this fabulous antique desk.
In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 78 x Width 180 x Depth 90
Dimensions in inches:
Height 30.7 x Width 70.9 x Depth 35.4
is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species.
Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress Mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual Mahogany was almost hidden from view.
Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect.
Although Mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ Mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ Mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments).
Ormolu (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).
318 Green Lanes