Antique French Pollard Oak Writing Table Desk C.1850

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Antique French Pollard Oak Writing Table Desk C.1850

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A gorgeous antique French ormolu mounted Pollard Oak desk, circa 1850 in date.

Featuring Pollard Oak of wonderful colour and of the very highest quality, with it's striking sinuous serpentine sides this table is sure to get noticed wherever it is placed.

It has seven drawers and is freestanding so that it can stand freely in the centre of a room.

There is a brass label in the central drawer with the name and address of the French artisan that made this fabulous piece:

Ebenisterie D'Art
J. Pietrasanta

1 Rue de Chateauneuf
Nice

Condition:

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

Dimensions in cm:

Height 80 x Width 114 x Depth 56

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 7 inches x Width 3 feet, 9 inches x Depth 1 foot, 10 inches

Pollard Oak
Pollarding is a pruning system in which the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches. It has been common in Europe since medieval times and is practised today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a predetermined height. The bole of the tree, constantly cut back over a period of years, will eventually form a lump, or 'burr', which when sawn for veneer, gives a lovely grained, swirling figure.
The effect is similar to that of burr walnut with its distinctive speckled grain. Burrs, or 'burls', are growths which appear on the side of tree trunks, resulting from a tree undergoing some form of stress. They may be caused by an injury, virus or fungus.
During the 19th century great strides were made in the mechanisation of cabinet making. Marc Isambard Brunel [ Isambard Kingdom's father] built the first steam driven saw mill, and invented a circular saw that could be used to cut veneers thinly and evenly for the first time. He also developed the first hydraulic veneer press. The figured wood cut from burrs and pollards is notoriously difficult to cut and lay: the wild grain which makes it so attractive results in a very delicate, brittle veneer. The new machines enabled the Victorian craftsmen to make the most of these beautiful timbers.

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).

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.

Width: 114.0 cm
Height: 80.0 cm
Depth: 56.0 cm

Estimated Time: Less than one week

Free UK Mainland delivery.

This item will be shipped from London, United Kingdom.
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We offer a 14-day return policy. Please check our conditions.

Condition: Used

Wear Condition: Excellent

Period: 19th Century

Style: Antique

Listed by: Tino_8f8a

This seller is VAT registered.

SKU: 64713585