Rare chest of drawers in rosewood veneer opening in front with three drawers. Model curved in the front and on the sides, with poly-lobed uprights with protruding edges. The drawers are decorated with friezes of rhombuses in reserves, the sides with rear offsets have rectangular reserves centered with rhombuses. The top is encased in a bronze mould and is surrounded by a purple wood band. It presents four reserves separated by a central medallion decorated with a rose drawn in marquetry.
Rich ornamentation of original bronzes finely chased and gilded with mercury, including draw handles, entries of locks with heads of fauns, falls in espagnolettes with heads of feathered women ended by garlands of flowers, a " cul de lampe" with acanthus on a background of trellis, " mustach feet " decorated with shells, angle brackets and a rich molding with frieze in the manner of Berain.
Frame and bottom of drawer in fir.
Very good condition.
Parisian work from the end of the Louis the XIVth period, around 1710-1715, by François Lieutaud*, cabinetmaker to the crown.
Width : 126 cm ; Depth : 62.5 cm ; Height : 83 cm.
- Acquired by Bernard Tapie from the Bernard Steinitz gallery in the 1980s, for the bedroom of his Cavoye hotel, where it remained until 2022. Published in " L'estampille - l'objet d'art, La collection Bernard Tapie " ("The stamp – the art object, Bernard Tapie’s Collection"), November-December 1994, n°285/286, p. 69.
Similar model :
- Chest of drawers stamped "FL" kept at the Residenz München, inventoried since 1769 in the palace and published in Hans Ottomeyer's book "Die Möbel der Residenz Münche, vol.3".
Chests of drawers by Lieutaud sold at public sales :
- Royal chest of drawers from the Louis the XVth period, Christie's, Paris, "Important Mobilier et Objets d'Art, Céramiques Européennes et Orfèvrerie" ("Important Furniture and Objects of Art, European Ceramics and Goldsmithery"), June 25th, 2008, lot n°202, result 74 900 €.
- Violet wood chest of drawers, sale Briscadieu, Bordeaux, lot n°111, sale of June 24th, 2017, result 56 120€.
- Large chest of drawers stamped "FL", Sotheby's, New York, "Field Collection", October 20th, 2018, lot n°1 155, $175,000.
Our Opinion :
Our chest of drawers is among the very first produced in Paris at the end of the reign of Louis the XIVth.
The quality, the finesse of the assembly and the extremely precise chasing of the bronzes are characteristic of the productions of François Lieutaud, who had the express authorization of the king to create his models and to cast his bronzes himself.
The latter was to supply various European courts throughout his career, and his success was never denied, to the point that he supplied the royal furniture storehouse until the last years of his life with a chest of drawers delivered to Madame de Pompadour at the Château de Bellevue in the 1745s.
The existence of an almost similar chest of drawers stamped "FL", probably preserved since its delivery, at the beginning of the XVIIIth century, to the residence of Munich (inventoried since 1769), makes the attribution to this cabinetmaker incontestable and shows us that it is a chest of drawers of princely quality.
Other pieces of furniture, notably large ebony veneered desks, or the old commode from the Maurice Segoura collection (Sotheby's, "Collection Field", 20/10/2018, lot n°1 155, $175,000), use the same ornamentation of bronzes. We know from the archives that Lieutaud ardently defended his copyrights to the point of attacking a close adviser to the king and calling his friend André Charles Boulle to testify in order to win the case.
Our chest of drawers, which has come down to us in an exceptional state of preservation, with its original top still embedded in an ingot mould of incredible finesse, and very opulent bronzes, is a piece of furniture of the greatest rarity.
It is probably all of these characteristics that guided Bernard Steinitz and Bernard Tapie towards this atypical piece of furniture.
* François Lieutaud was received as a master at the end of the XVIIth century. Originally from Marseille, he was the father of Charles Lieutaud, himself a cabinetmaker and the grandfather of Balthazar Lieutaud, also a cabinetmaker. He settled in Paris, rue Traversière and then rue Saint Nicolas, and together with the famous Charles Boulle, he made some of the most beautiful furniture in Versailles. The acts of a lawsuit of the time indicate that, exceptionally, King Louis the XIVth had granted him the rare privilege of being able to create and manufacture the bronzes for his furniture, because at that time, the corporation of bronze workers had this exclusivity.
45 000 €