Exceptional Secretaire-Cabinet Decorated allover with 116 rectangular, circular and variously shaped hand enamel painted plaques decorated with allegorical and mythological scenes.
The balustraded top mounted with several classical male and female figures and dual-handled urns.
The two cupboard doors flanked by baluster columns and centred to the bottom by the figure of young classical woman in gilt bronze, opening to an interior fitted with six drawers, above a sloping drop-down flap. The reverse of the flap is fitted with a leather writing surface and with and interior centered by a compartment flanked to each side by a pair of drawers, over a frieze drawer.
The Secretaire-Cabinet sits on circular tapering legs joined by a stretcher.
The scenes include: Rainaldo and Armida, Tancred and Hermina, Neptune, Mercury, Apollo, Minerva, Cupid, Venus and various muses. As the technique of enamel making is related to glass production most of the goldsmiths familiar with the art of enamelling are to be found in the region of Bohemia, Prague and Vienna. Despite that Viennese enamels have long been among the most distinctive, only the few names of the largest workshop owners such as Simon Gruenwald, Ludwig Pollizer, Hermann Boehm and Herman Ratzersdorfer are presently recorded.
Herman Boehm (worked 1866-1922) took part in the 1873 Vienna World Fair and was awarded a medal for his "Limoges" enamel jewellery. His countryman Hermann Ratzersdorfer (worked 1845 - 1894) was awarded with a Prize Medals at the 1851 London Exhibition, in Paris1855 and the Gold medal in Vienna in 1873.
A similar cabinet commissioned by the Austrian emperor in 1871 allows insight into the comprehensive cooperation in the production of such furniture in Vienna.
With a high degree of certainty we can say that the mounts of the present Secretaire-Cabinet were executed by Ratzersdorfer whereas the design, turning, woodwork and ironwork are by different artist under imperial superintendence.
The presence of a watch is extremely rare, only a few of this Secretaire-Cabinets are known around the world and as far as we know, none of them own a watch.
This Viennese Secretaire-Cabinet is the highest quality that has been offered on the market for the last 40 years.
Provenance : Private Belgium Family from Antwerp since 1988 bought for 2.160.000,00 Belgian Francs.
Literature : C. Payne, 19th Century European Furniture, Antique Collector's Club, Woodbridge, 1981, p.142.
Similar Secretaire-Cabinet sold in the past :
- 13th of September 1986, Sotheby's New York, lot 168
- 5th of March 1987, Sotheby's London, lot 465
Without watch and lower in quality sold at Sotheby's New York, 27 April 2006, lot 25 (102.000,00 $)
Without watch, with less enamel plaques and less gilt decorations sold at Christie's New York, Lot 401(132.000,00 $).
Delevery information :
Deliveries are offered in Belgium and Northern France.
All other deliveries are subject to a charge.