Antique French Ormolu Bureau Plat Desk 19th C


  • £10,750.00
  • €12,587 Euro
  • $14,825 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2021
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Antique French Ormolu Bureau Plat Desk 19th C

This is a fine and rare antique ormolu mounted French kingwood bureau plat, Circa 1860 in date.

It has highly decorative ormolu mounts and the shaped rectangular top has a decorative ormolu border and is inset with a superb gilt-tooled tan leather writing surface.

The frieze has a central and two short shaped drawers on one side and false drawers on the other. It is raised on cabriole legs headed by stunning scrolled foliate and acanthus with cast Venus mask espagnolettes and terminating in ormolu sabots.

Each side is mounted with an scroll and lambrequin adorned ormolu Diana Mask.

It is freestanding and finished on all sides so that it can stand freely in the centre of a room.

This is a truly lovely piece which will display beautifully in any interior.

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

Dimensions in cm:
Height 77 x Width 150 x Depth 82

Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 6 inches x Width 4 foot, 11 inches x Depth 2 foot, 8 inches
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.

is a classic furniture wood, almost exclusively used for inlays on very fine furniture. Occasionally it is used in the solid for small items and turned work, including parts of billiard cues, e.g., those made by John Parris. It is brownish-purple with many fine darker stripes and occasional irregular swirls. Occasionally it contains pale streaks of a similar colour to sapwood.

The wood is very dense and hard and can be brought to a spectacular finish. it turns well but due to its density and hardness can be difficult to work with hand tools. It also has a tendency to blunt the tools due to its abrasive properties.

Our reference: 09912


  • H: 77cm (30.31in)
  • W: 150cm (59.06in)
  • D: 82cm (32.28in)


Circa 1860

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We are one of the UK's premier furniture dealers and have been trading in London for three decades.

We specialise in English and Continental furniture, silver, porcelain and decorative items, both antique and contemporary.

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