Beautiful rectangular box with doucines in marquetry, opening with a flap encircled by a bronze ingot mold.
Model in "counterpart "* of brass on a background of brown turtle scales with arabesque decorations on all four sides.
The top is richly decorated with a marquetry inspired by Jean Berain’s engravings.
It represents a goddess on a mound and under a mantling, in an environment of foliage decorated with masks of grinning chimeras, vases with flowers, birds and small squirrels.
Interior veneer of violet wood, openwork bronze hinges.
Very nice quality of engraving.
Parisian work of the Louis XIV period, around 1700.
Height: 14 cm; width: 31.5 cm; depth: 23.5 cm.
For a similar box , Christie’s Paris , appartement quai d’Orsay designed by Alberto Pinto, Lot 31, 30 Juin 2022 (22 680 euros).Our opinion:
The luxurious box that we present is one of the very beautiful models made at the end of the reign of Louis XIV. The Boulle marquetry was reserved for an elite of the nobility and was generally plated on rectangular surfaces, unlike our box which has rare forms in doucines. If our current knowledge does not allow us to attribute it to a particular workshop ; the density, the richness of the decoration, and the finesse of the engraving are similar to that of the productions of BVRB I. The latter, who was practically a tablemaker, made a number of chests, mirrors, and clock cases with this type of very lively decorations, which is sometimes enriched with mother-of-pearl and stained horn.
By superimposing two sheets of veneer when cutting, patterns and backgrounds of two different materials were created to then be reassembled two by two.
The « first part » corresponds to the patterns coming from the first top sheet (often the metal one) with the background of the bottom sheet (often the tortoiseshell one).
The « counterpart » corresponds to the motifs coming from the bottom sheet with the bottom of the top sheet.
We thus obtain two compositions of marquetry in negative. The marquetry where the tortoiseshell is the background and the copper the ornaments, the counterpart, is the most beautiful.
In order to obtain a symmetrical composition, one turns over the counterpart so as to become the symmetry of the first part.
The composed Boulle pattern is then glued upside down on a large paper. The paper will be the visible side of the marquetry.
The marquetry is then placed in a press on very thin cushions so as not to damage it. We add on the top of the marquetry warm and wet cloths in order to soften the scale then we let it dry in the press.
48 000 €