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Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720
Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 - Furniture Style Louis XIV Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 - Louis XIV Antiquités - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720
Ref : 105135
Period :
18th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Gilded Oak
Dimensions :
l. 57.87 inch X H. 32.28 inch X P. 27.56 inch
Furniture  - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 18th century - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 Louis XIV - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720 Antiquités - Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720
Franck Baptiste Paris

16th to 19th century furniture and works of art

+33 (0)6 45 88 53 58
Console in gilded wood with hydras, Paris circa 1720

Exceptional ceremonial console in gilded wood with four legs joined by a spacer.
Model finely carved and engraved with an abundant decoration on all the parts, in front, on the sides, on the feet and the spacers.
The front crosspiece, strongly fretted, is embellished with chimeras spewing acanthus foliage, openwork reserves lined with a frieze of gadroons, surmounted by grimacing winged masks on a background finely engraved with a trellis studded with flowers.
In the corners, the heads of screaming chimeras extend the uprights made of curves and counter-curves that simulate the neck of the animal.
On the outer faces of these uprights, masks of fauns puke garlands of decreasing flowers while on the C windings are positioned three-headed hydras.
Below, a central spacer rests on four baluster feet decorated with satyrs, it is bordered by a frieze of gadroons, finely engraved with "scrapers" on the outer faces and scrolls of flowers on the top.
The spacer is connected in its center by a large lion's muzzle topped with a plume of feathers; presented roaring, it holds in its mouth a scroll of acanthus.
At the back, a winding vertical crosspiece decorated with palm leaves connects the upper part to the spacer.

Original gilding with a matt and shiny double patina, significant repair work, i.e. engravings in the primers.

White and purple marble top, Medici breccia. (inventory number "37" stenciled on reverse)

Very good state of preservation; minor retouching to the gilding.

French work attributable to the Société des Bâtiments du Roi, end of the Louis XIV period around 1715.

Probably the console described under No. 545 of the catalog of the judicial sale of furniture from the Château de Chenonceaux on June 3, 1889.


Width: 147cm; Depth: 70cm; Height: 82cm

Model close but with two feet:

-Artcurial sale, Paris on 12/12/2012 lot 37
- Koller sale, Zurich, 03/25/2010 lot 1067

Our opinion :

With its complex design and abundant decoration covering every square centimetre, our console is part of a small corpus produced in Paris at the end of the Louis XIV period by the Société des Bâtiments du Roi.
The shape of our console is clearly inspired by the projects of Gille-Marie Oppenord (1676-1742) for the furnishing of the Regent at the Royal Palace*. (Pictures)
In addition to the structure and the uprights in curves and against curves, we find this type of spacer and central vertical crosspiece but also the same iconography, with masks of satyrs, muzzles of lions or chimeras spitting foliage.
The screaming chimeras positioned in spandrels refer to a drawing by Mathieu Legoupil kept at the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin. (photo)
The company of the king's buildings was founded in 1699, it was made up of sculptors André Legoupil, Marin Bellan and Pierre Taupin; Mathieu, André's son, joined the company in 1714.
The latter worked under the direction of the architects of the buildings of King Robert de Cotte (1656-1735), Jacques Gabriel (1667-1742) or Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1676-1742).
The company worked for the sovereign, for blood princes and princesses such as the Duke of Maine, the Count of Toulouse, the Duke of Bourbon or even the Princess of Conti.
But unlike architects, the company was also free to work for individuals; however, given the quality and the exorbitant costs of his productions, only a restricted elite could call on his services, and even then only for the ceremonial pieces of the largest residences.
These craftsmen were the largest suppliers of sculpted decorations in Paris, from the 1700s until the company ceased operations in 1736.
The console that we present represents the quintessence of the decorative arts of the beginning of the 18th century, it is one of the most beautiful French consoles preserved in private hands.

Apart from the marble which may have been badly inventoried (which often happened at that time), our piece of furniture corresponds perfectly to the description of the console from the sale of June 3, 1889 of the furniture of the Château de Chenonceaux:

* N°545 Beautiful fretted console from the time of the Regency, in carved and gilded wood, with an openwork cut-out headband decorated with foliage, leaves and a large central shell with garlands and faun mask. The four legs, curved in an S and approaching towards the base, offer fanciful heads and on their volutes stands the Lernaean hydra. These feet are raised on four crosspieces bearing on fantastic heads and presenting at their point of junction a large grimacing mascaron. Campan marble tablet, lined with moldings.
Height, 85 cent.; length, 1 m. 6o cent.
The faunian mask, the S-shaped feet, with chimerical heads and the Lernaean hydra or even the rare heads on the feet and the grimacing lion mascaron...precisely describe our console.
The furniture of the castle was still preserved in 1889 and included many masterpieces of the Renaissance such as portraits of the kings of France by Clouet, paintings by Chranach, Rubens but also works such as Mignards, Van der Meulen. dating from the Louis XIV period, when the houses of Vendôme and Condé owned the chateau.
His blood princes, cousins of the king, had easy access to the society of the king's buildings.

Franck Baptiste Paris


Console Table Louis XIV