Antique Victorian Marquetry Serpentine Credenza

S/N:A1280

  • £10,500.00
  • €12,294 Euro
  • $14,481 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2021
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Antique Victorian Marquetry Serpentine Credenza

REGENT ANTIQUES
This is a superb antique Victorian ormolu mounted burr walnut and kingwood floral marquetry inlaid credenza, circa 1860 in date.

Oozing sophistication and charm, this credenza is the absolute epitome of Victorian high society.

The entire piece highlights the unique and truly exceptional pattern of the book matched burr walnut veneers, and it has been enriched by the beautiful boxwood line inlay, kingwood crossbanding and floral marquetry decoration.

This credenza is serpentine fronted with elegant serpentine glazed doors on either side. It has a pair of ebonised panelled doors in the centre and each is decorated with ribbon tied colourful leafy marquetry floral bouquets.

The central doors open to reveal a claret velvet lined interior with plenty of storage space for drinks, glasses, crockery, etc. They are flanked by kigwood crossbanded burr walnut half columns topped with elegant ormolu mounts.

Its attention to detail and lavish decoration are certain to draw the eye wherever you choose to place it in your home.

Condition:
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished and waxed and the inteior relined in claret velvet, in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 111 x Width 218 x Depth 48

Dimensions in inches:
Height 3 foot, 8 inches x Width 7 foot, 2 inches x Depth 1 foot, 7 inches

'Burr Walnut' refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produce some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.

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.

Kingwood
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.

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).

Our reference: A1280

Dimensions: 

  • H: 111cm (43.70in)
  • W: 218cm (85.83in)
  • D: 48cm (18.90in)

Period: 

circa 1860

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REGENT ANTIQUES

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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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