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Description:

An Impressive French 19th Century Louis XV Style Mahogany and Ormolu (Gilt-Bronze) Mounted Figural Bureau Plat (Desk), attributed to Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdeley, Paris. The rectangular top of arc-en-arbalète outline inset with a gilt-tooled light-brown leather writing panel, fitted with three apron drawers with opposing faux drawers, with a gilt-brass inlaid trim, raised on cabriolet legs headed by finely chased ormolu lion pelt chutes trailing to lion-paws; each side centered with an allegorical ormolu plaque emblematic of "Love", depicting maidens and cherubs, within a scrolled acanthus gilt-bronze frame. The underside stamped "A. BEURDELEY/A PARIS". Circa: Paris, 1900.

This beautiful and rare desk, a much simple version of which was probably inspired by Louis XV Buerau du Roi by Jean-François Oeben (1721-1763) and J. H. Riesener (1734-1806) currently at Versailles, perhaps the most famous piece of furniture in the world, and is certainly among the most luxurious furniture creations of the eighteenth century. Further examples of the Bureau du Roi are also known to be manufactured by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener (1848- 1895), Maison Krieger, Henri Dasson, Maison Jansen and François Linke (1855-1946), and were created for such prestigious clients as Ludwig II of Bavaria and Russian Czar Nicholas II.

Examples such as the present model – as a bureau plat (desk) without the cylinder top – are rare, however an eighteenth-century model does exist: a bureau plat was created as a companion to the bureau du roiin 1786, ordered by Louis XVI for his cabinet intérieur at Versailles by Guillaume Jean-Benneman under the supervision of Jean Hauré and today a part of the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor, this bureau plat differs from the Versailles cylinder bureau in a number of significant details, including the lack of marquetry work and other elements from the original design.

Another example of the more ornate version of this Bureau Plat, also by Beurdeley, is illustrated in Camille Mestdagh "L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, fig. 295, p. 254, which also appears to have been based on Oeben and Riesener's work.

Height: 30 3/4 inches (78.1 cm)
Width: 73 inches (185.4 cm)
Depth: 36 3/4 inches (93.4 cm)

Ref.: A2416 - Lot 11269


Beurdeley, Louis-Auguste and Emmanuel-Alfred (1808-1882 and 1847-1919). Specializing in reproductions of the most magnificent articles from the Garde Meuble National, the firm exhibited and won awards at all of the major international exhibitions during the second half of the nineteenth century. The quality and skill employed in production was of exceptional quality; their ormolu mounts with mercurial gilding and hand chasing were often difficult to distinguish from late eighteenth-century examples, and were considered the finest in Paris. The firm was pioneered by Jean Beurdeley (1772-1853), later managed by his son Louis-Auguste-Alfred, and finally imparted to his son Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis in 1875. The firm was established at 32 and 34, rue Louis-Le-Grand, and also owned the pavillion de Hanovre, where it was based while Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis added two additional workshops at 20 and 24, rue Dautancourt by 1875. The Beurdeley workshops closed in 1896, although still partially active until 1898 and the stock was sold over a number of auctions conducted by the Galerie Georges Petit of Paris. Two auction catalogues of the collection were published in 1895 and sales were held between March 6-8 and May 27-28.

Among Beurdeley's most prestigious clients were Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, the duc D'aumale, Richard Wallace, the Duc and Princess d'Hamilton, Tsarine Alexandra Féodorovna, The Rothschild and Vanderbilt dynasties and the Metropolitan Club, New York.

Literature:

Pierre Verlet, Le Mobilier royal français, Picard, 1992, II, pp. 63-75.

Christopher Payne, 19th Century European Furniture, Antique Collector's Club, p. 106, 108.

Camille Mestdagh, L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, Les Editions de l'Amateur, 2010, p. 19; pp. 76-78.




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