Rare mahogany and mahogany veneer desk with flap, resting on four small tapered legs. The upper part of the desk is composed of a flap, forming a leather-covered writing desk opening onto four small drawers and two large compartments, the whole framed by shelves set with a gilt bronze gallery. This part is surmounted by a box opening with a slatted shutter. The lower part opens with two leaves revealing a chest and two shelves framed by recessed leaves and shelves. The cloverleaf locks allow the two parts to be locked. The leaves are enhanced by mouldings and gilded bronze frames highlighting the beauty of the mahogany . Four fluted columns structure the piece of furniture, decorated at the top with draped garlands, pine cones and stylised urns.
Stamped Jean-Henri Riesener
Louis XVI era
Former Fould-Springer Collection
Restorations of use
H. 140 x W. 95 x D. 36,5 cm
This piece of furniture comes from the Fould-Springer collections of the Royaumont abbey palace, dispersed in 2011. The Fould-Springer family was a dynasty of bankers ennobled under the Empire, one of whose last representatives was Baroness Elie de Rothschild, born as Liliane Fould-Springer (1916-2003). The Fould-Springer family was very aesthetic and had a developed collection of furniture, some of royal origin, and art objects bearing the greatest names; Renoir even painted the portrait of Madame Eugène Fould, Baroness de Rothschild's mother. Great patron of Arts, Liliane de Rothschild made numerous donations, including to the Château de Versailles, the Musée Carnavalet and the Palais Galliera. The flap desk we are revealing today is an example of the eclectic choices made by the Fould-Springer family, who built up a collection of objects that were both prestigious and unique.
The secretary presented here is stamped by the famous cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806). His career has to be explained to understand the importance of his creations in French Decorative Art.
The German craftsman arrived in Paris during his youth and began to work in one of the most prestigious workshop of the capital, which was the one of Oeben, whom Riesener quickly began a major associate, so that he inherited of the workshop when Oeben died in 1763, as well as he married Oeben's widow. His success was complete: he get his master degree, and was officially the supplier of the Crown . Very fashionable amongst the elite, he producted furniture for royal castles, prince's residences.
We might also underline the diversity of his work. For some chests-of-drawers and desks, he imagined complex inlay and elegant bronze; on the other hand, his production includes lighter furniture, of a surprising sobriety, as our secretary tends to illustrates. This kind of furniture was destined to prestigious people's secondary apartments, or to more intimate spheres. Our secretary shows how the balance between the simple lines and the delicate bronze actually testifies of the luxurious yet refined aspect Riesener was looking for in his creations.
38 000 €
24 000 €