Louis XVI period, circa 1780
Dimensions : H. 127cm x W. 162 x D. 76 cm
Height of the working surface 75cm
This superb cylinder desk rests on powerful feet in solid mahogany. It is veneered with Cuban mahogany leaves on all its sides, an important criterion for this type of furniture. With its imposing dimensions, this cylinder has an unusual work and storage surface, further enlarged by leather-lined side pulls.
The abundant bronze trim is finely chiseled. In particular, the tapered hooves ending in a ball, similar to the models Adam Weisweiler designed for his consoles, emphasize the line of the tapered and slightly swollen legs. The 13 bronze frames that decorate the drawers, the cylinder and the sides, neutralize the massive aspect that these large desks often have. The beautiful gilding of this rich furnishing emphasizes the mahogany. Because the other great quality sought in cylinder desks lies in the choice of mahogany used. Here, the mahogany is lightly flamed inside the frames, and "de fil" all around. Its grain is extremely fine and a typical color of the Cuban provenance.
The state of preservation of this desk is particularly excellent. The thickness of the mahogany leaves and the quality of the oak frame have allowed this piece to keep its elements (wood, bronze and marble) intact. An important restoration has been undertaken on this desk, mainly to re-varnish the four sides and the interior. The leather is not original but is old, probably redone in the mid 20th century. This desk comes from a private collection where it has remained since 1964, acquired from the "Galerie des Laques", an antique dealer installed in the rue du cherche-Midi in Paris and with a great reputation for the quality of the furniture it offered, notably at the Biennale des Antiquaires in the Grand Palais.
To better understand what is called "mahogany", here is some information taken from the internet. They allow us to understand that exotic woods from Africa and Asia were also called "mahogany". The following article presents these woods as having "very similar qualities"; these are physical qualities because the observation highlights that the aesthetic qualities have nothing to do with it.
"Mahogany refers to a group of tropical trees in the Meliaceae family, whose main characteristic is that the wood is pale pink to red in color, fragrant, durable and easy to work. The name mahogany designates in the narrow sense of trees of America and the West Indies of the genus Swietenia, first Swietenia mahagoni, then Swietenia macrophylla. It also designates Cedrela odorata exploited in the same regions. But this name has been extended to other related genera whose wood has "very similar" qualities, including African mahogany trees of the genus Khaya (and sometimes the genus Entandrophragma), as well as Asian species of the genus Toona."
7 800 €
25 000 €