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Antique French Vernis Martin Vetrine Display Cabinet C.1870

Antique French Vernis Martin Vetrine Display Cabinet C.1870

Antique French Vernis Martin Vetrine Display Cabinet C.1870

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About this item

This is a fabulous antique French Vernis Martin mahogany vetrine in Louis XV Revival manner, circa 1870 in date.

This beautiful cabinet has hand painted decoration, exquisite ormolu mounts and a beautiful "Marmo di Carrara" marble top. The central panel has a beautiful painting depicting a courting couple and the two side panels have paintings of country scenes.

The cabinet has serpentine glass to the sides, the interior has been lined in a beautiful Bleu Celeste damask, and there is a capacious cupboard in the base. 

With working lock and original key.

The quality and attention to detail throughout is second to none.

Add a touch of unparalleled style to your home.

Condition:

In excellent condition having been cleaned and polished in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 160 x Width 92 x Depth 37

Dimensions in inches:

Height 5 feet, 3 inches x Width 3 feet, 0 inches x Depth 1 foot, 3 inches

Vernis Martin is a lustrous lacquer substitute widely used in the 18th century to decorate furniture and such personal articles as brisé fans,  snuffboxes and clocks. The process of adding bronze or gold powder to green varnish was perfected by the French brothers Guillaume and Etienne-Simon Martin, hence its name “Vernis Martin”, as Vernis is French for varnish. It is said to have been made by heating oil, copal and amber and then adding Venetian turpentine and the Martin brothers perfected the process with inclusions in the varnish, sprinkling spangles of silver plated copper wire into the wet varnish ground. Highly praised by Voltaire, it was developed to imitate East Asian lacquerware which was being imported into France during the Louis XV period. Vernis Martin was made in several colours, green, black and a golden red being the most characteristic.

Ormolu (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Carrara marble - is a type of white or blue-grey marble popular for use in sculpture and building decor. It is quarried at the city of Carrara in the province of Massa-Carrara (Tuscany, Italy).

Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome; the Pantheon and Trajan's Column in Rome are constructed of it. Many sculptures of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo's David, were carved from Carrara marble. For Michelangelo at least, Carrara marble was valued above all other stone, except perhaps that of his own quarry in Pietrasanta. The Marble Arch in London and the Duomo di Siena are also made from this stone, as are the interiors of Manila Cathedral, the cold-white marbles of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the campus of Harvard Medical School.

Dimensions

W92.0 x H160.0 x D37.0 cm

Condition

Used

Date of manufacture

1800s

Period

Unknown

Seller

VAT status

Seller is VAT registered

SKU

47702597
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