A Palatial Victorian Gilt-Bronze Mounted Bureau Plat

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Object Description

A Palatial Victorian Gilt-Bronze Mounted Bureau Plat.

This palatial bureau plat is of grand proportions. The top is of serpentine rectangular out-shape and is lined in dark green leather with a beautiful gilt-tool embossed border. The top rim is modelled with scrolls and shells. The frieze is fitted to the front with drawers and to the back with false drawers. The central drawer is fitted with a writing slides covered in matching green leather. The flanking drawers are mounted with scrolled handles held by figural picturesque male and female mask mounts. The angles of the drawer recess are fitted with sculptural rocaille mounts. The bombĂ© sides are centred by a large acanthus plume. The ‘S’-shaped cabriole legs have foliate entwined chutes and scrolled sabots.

English. Circa 1860.

Object History

The rigourous ormolu mounts and exaggerated curves give this bureau a distinctly ‘Rokoko’ look and it is often speculated that the design must be German. Contemporaneous examples however are known to have been bought for English houses in the mid-19th century and for this reason the model is now credited to Victorian cabinetmakers. A pair of very similar bureaux plat were almost certainly acquired by Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch (d. 1884), one of the richest landowners in Britain, and remain with the Buccleuch family at Bowhill House. Another virtually identical kingwood bureau plat is in the collection of the earls of Normanton at Somerley, Hampshire, and was probably acquired by Welbore Ellis Agar, 2nd Earl of Normanton (d. 1868) who had the opulent Picture Gallery at Somerley built in 1850 to display his splendid works of art. A further bureau plat was acquired by Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt (d. 1904) for Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Ireland and was sold in 1984.

Object Literature

C. Payne, European Furniture of the 19th Century, Woodbridge, 2013, p. 93 (two versions of this model illustrated)

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 7495 2324
+447500 832323

Dealer Location

Audley House, 3 The Grange
Albion Street, Brighton
West Sussex BN42 4EN

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