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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Antique French Secretaire Abattant Mother of Pearl 1880"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
This fabulous piece has beautiful Mother of Pearl, rosewood and brass marquetry decoration with fabulous ormolu handles and mounts. The secretaire interior features the fall enclosing three ebonised and brass inlaid drawers and a rosewood shelf with a coral colured velvet writing surface. There are four useful drawers below the secretaire and one above.
There is a beautiful white Carrara marble on the top.
All the locks are original, with working key.
In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 136 x Width 74 x Depth 35
Dimensions in inches:
Height 53.5 x Width 29.1 x Depth 13.8
Secretaire a abattant
Tall French writing-desk, the top part of which resembles an armoire, having a door at its base. The top is often flap-fronted to provide a large writing surface when open.
Also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent. The outer layer of pearls and the inside layer of pearl oyster and freshwater pearl mussel shells are made of nacre.
Both black and white nacre are and were used for design purposes. They were used as decorative motif used in cabinet making or silversmithing. The natural nacre may be artificially tinted to almost any colour. Nacre tesserae may be cut into shapes and laminated to a ceramic tile or marble base. The tesserae are hand-placed and closely sandwiched together, creating an irregular mosaic or pattern (such as a weave). The laminated material is typically about 2 mm thick. The tesserae are then lacquered and polished creating a durable and glossy surface.
is a rich warm reddish brown wood that has a distinct grain with dark brown and black outlining. One variety of Rosewood can vary significantly from another even though it is of the same species. These Rosewoods, native of India, South East Asia and Brazil, were dense and awkward to work with. It was renowned for quickly bluntening cutting tools and visibly darkening in colour when over prepared.
The Brazilian species of Rosewood was by far the most beautifully figured and therefore it became the most sought after and rare. This was the wood of choice for the great box makers, David and Thomas Edwards who used it to veneer some of their finest pieces.
is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.
The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian "Cosmati"-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the "hardstones" used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.
Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing tortoiseshell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.
(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