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Antique French Porcelain & Ormolu Mounted Etagere C1880

Antique French Porcelain & Ormolu Mounted Etagere C1880

Antique French Porcelain & Ormolu Mounted Etagere C1880


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About this item

This is an antique French Louis Revival porcelain and ebonised three-tier etagere or occasional table, circa 1880 in date.

The etagere has three inset hand painted porcelain plates, one on each level, and they can be removed if required. The beautiful columns are also made of matching hand painted French porcelain.

It has decorative ormolu mounts as well as gilded decoration.

Such a beautiful and highly versatile piece is indeed a rare find and would look lovely almost everywhere.

Perfect for displaying your cakes and finger sandwiches at your next tea party!!


In excellent original condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 95 x Width 60 x Depth 60

Dimensions in inches:

Height 3 feet, 1 inch x Width 2 feet x Depth 2 feet

Etagère is a piece of light furniture which was extensively made in France during the latter part of the 18th century. It consists of a series of stages or shelves for the reception of ornaments or other small articles. Like the what-not it was very often cornerwise in shape, and the best Louis XVI examples in exotic woods are exceedingly graceful and elegant.

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).


W60.0 x H95.0 x D60.0 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture



19th Century




VAT status

Seller is VAT registered


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