FRANCE DÉBUT DE L'ÉPOQUE LOUIS XV
FOLDING SECRETARY Rosewood veneer, stained wood, gilt bronze and marble Inventory
marks in ink
H. 145.5 cm, W. 120 cm, D. 46 cm
Restorations of use
This secretary with harmonious proportions opens to a flap and two leaves in the lower part. When open, it reveals seven drawers and six niches of different sizes. It rests on a plinth of great sobriety which takes the shape of the cornice. It is decorated on the front and sides with marquetry of paintings of flowers and ribboned bouquets, the quality of execution of which can be compared to the great cabinetmakers of this period, such as Jean-François Oeben (1721-1763).
The refinement of the marquetry is highlighted by a rich ornamentation of gilded bronzes of high quality chasing, emphasizing the upper cut of the hugged flap, its spandrels, the lock entries and the rounded uprights. Scrolls, foliage, shells and rosettes are inspired by the models that Charles Cressent had developed and which were dispersed after his death in 1755 at several public sales. Merchants and cabinetmakers then obtained models of beautiful bronzes that were used to adorn their creations, as can be seen on the Louis XV period secretary that belonged to the Smadja collection, which is enriched with gilded bronzes from the work of Charles Cressent (fig. 1).
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