A Petite Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted and Sèvres Style Porcelain Set Table.
French, Circa 1870.
This elegant table has a shaped rectangular top with gilt-bronze encadrement, inset with a superb Sèvres style oval dish. The dish has a blue celeste ground with a central panel of finely painted flowers, flanked by panels of harbour scenes. The apron is mounted to each side with a pair of oval porcelain panels, painted with flowers and within fine gilt-bronze frames, united by foliate swags. The fall front opening to a single drawer with a writing slide. The table is raised on cabriole legs with acanthus clasps to the knees and put down on scrolled acanthus feet.
The fashion for porcelain, mounted onto exquisite furniture pieces, was brought to the novelty seeking Parisian connoisseurs by ébénistes working for the principal ‘marchand-merciers’ around 1760. The original pioneer was Simon-Philippe Poirier, the celebrated ‘marchand-mercier’, working chiefly with the ébéniste Martin Carlin, and who ordered his first plaques in 1758. These items were rare and sought after even at the time of their production, and most examples now reside in museum collections.
The nineteenth century saw a revival for this fashion in porcelain-mounted furniture, with very fine and exquisite pieces being designed such as this very rare table.