Extremely rare medallion in boiled and embossed leather representing King Louis the XIVth in profile in bust. He wears a large wig, a fine lace jabot and a cape, over his fabulous armor with lions.
Original frame in oak wood (formerly lacquered).
Good condition, small restorations of use.
Parisian work from the very beginning of the 18th century, around 1700-1710, probably by the Royal Manufacture of Hungarian Leathers of Saint-Denis.
Leather : height 77cm ; width 65cm.
Similar model :
- Bordeaux Museum (inv. no. BX M 11228).
- Château de Vaux-le-vicomte.
- Christie's New York, October 18, 2002, lot 568 ($28 680)
Our Opinion :
The embossed leather portraits representing King Louis the XIVth are of the greatest rarity, only a few examples have come down to us.
The model is always identical and takes the features of the medallion made by François Girardon (1628-1715) for his native city of Troyes.
Commissioned in 1687 and installed three years later in the town hall, the medallion, in which the king is represented in profile and in armor, was a great success.
It is this medallion that serves as the master model for our work in boiled and embossed leather.
If the corporation of tanners is one of the oldest in Paris, the end of the 17th century is marked by the arrival of new processes in the field of leather tanning.
This new technology called "Hongroyage" of leather is based on the use of alum, and revolutionizes the ancient method of vegetable tanning.
The growing interest in this type of strong leather, endowed with advantageous qualities, such as speed of use and suppleness, for elaborate works in the arts as well as in the trades, led Jean Baptiste Colbert to encourage this production.
Despite the protests of the old families of tanners of "Cordoba leather", a new community of craftsmen specialized in the elaboration of "Hungarian leathers" emerged with twelve masters, it was even given statutes in 1680.
As a result of this craze, a royal factory of Hungarian leathers was inaugurated by the king in 1702 on the banks of the river Croult, in Saint Denis.
If we know little about the production of these medallions, it is in this new context that they were made ; we can easily imagine, in view of the few known pieces, that they were produced by the factory to be offered to the king.
Price : on request