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Antique Pair Burr Walnut Marquetry Pier Cabinets C.1870

Antique Pair Burr Walnut Marquetry Pier Cabinets C.1870

Antique Pair Burr Walnut Marquetry Pier Cabinets C.1870

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About this item

This is a superb antique pair of Victorian burr walnut and floral marquetry pier cabinets, circa 1870 in date.

They are a genuine pair - which can be confirmed by the fact that the doors open one to the left and one to the right.

Adding to their truly unique character they are  decorated with exquisite gilded ormolu mounts and further embellished by the beautiful burr walnut  which has been complimented with wonderful floral marquetry decoration.

One cannot overstate the truly unique opportunity to own such a delightful pair of cabinets.
 

 

Condition:

In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

 

Dimensions in cm:

Height 105 x Width 76 x Depth 31

Dimensions in inches:

Height 3 feet, 5 inches x Width 2 feet, 6 inches x Depth 1 foot, 0 inches

urr Walnut refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
 

Marquetry
is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.

The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian "Cosmati"-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the "hardstones" used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.

Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing shell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs. 

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).  

Dimensions

W76.0 x H105.0 x D31.0 cm

Condition

Used

Date of manufacture

1800s

Period

Unknown

Seller

VAT status

Seller is VAT registered

SKU

74793239
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