Antique Ormolu Mounted Serpentine Boulle Credenza


  • £9,500.00
  • €11,124 Euro
  • $13,101 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2021
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Antique Ormolu Mounted Serpentine Boulle Credenza

This is an important antique, Victorian, ebonised, ormolu mounted, and red tortoiseshell Boulle cut brass marquetry serpentine credenza, circa 1870 in date.

It is beautifully inlaid in cut brass, in addition there is scrolling acanthus foliage with flowers and honeysuckle. It is further adorned with a plethora of fabulous ormolu mounts.

The central cupboard door, with raised oval panel, encloses a burgundy velvet lined interior with a shelf, and is flanked by a serpentine glass door opening to shelves on each side..

The credenza is raised on a plinth base and has its original working locks and keys.

This is an absolutely breathtaking piece which is certain to make it a talking point in your home, it is nearly identical to one that can be seen in the Award Winning Television Drama, Downton Abbey, which is filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire and is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The exterior shots and much of the interior filming takes place there

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

Dimensions in cm:
Height 106 x Width 197 x Depth 47

Dimensions in inches:
Height 3 foot, 6 inches x Width 6 foot, 6 inches x Depth 1 foot, 6 inches

André-Charles Boulle (1642 – 1732), was the French cabinetmaker who is generally considered to be the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry. His fame in marquetry led to his name being given to a fashion of inlaying known as Boulle (or in 19th-century Britain, Buhl work).

Boulle appears to have been originally a painter, since the first payment to him by the crown of which there is any record (1669) specifies ouvrages de peinture. He was employed for many years at Versailles, where the mirrored walls, the floors of wood mosaic, the inlaid paneling and the marquetery furniture in the Cabinet du Dauphin were regarded as his most remarkable work. These rooms were long since dismantled and their contents dispersed, but Boulle's drawings for the work are in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

His royal commissions were numerous, as we learn both from the Comptes des B timents du Roi and from the correspondence of Louvois. Not only the most magnificent of French monarchs, but foreign princes and the great nobles and financiers of his own country crowded to him with commissions, and the mot of the abbé de Marolles, Boulle y lourne en ovale, has become a stock quotation in the literature of French cabinetmaking.

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.

After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt..

Our reference: 06442W


  • H: 106cm (41.73in)
  • W: 197cm (77.56in)
  • D: 47cm (18.50in)


circa 1870

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