This is a stunning late 19th century antique French burr walnut and floral marquetry serpentine card table with ormolu mounts, circa 1870 in date.
The shaped burr walnut top has line inlay encompassing an exquisite floral marquetry bouquet of country flowers, and a stunning gilt bronze border. It has decorative ormolu cast mask bosses to the sides and is raised on serpentine legs terminating in leafy ormolu sabots.
The hinged top opens to reveal a green baize lined interior for playing cards and the top swivels around to reveal a chess board.
It is a superb piece which is sure to get lots of attention wherever it is placed.
In excellent condition having been beautifully restored and the baize relined in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 75 x Width 80 x Depth 47 – Closed
Height 73 x Width 80 x Depth 80 – Open
Dimensions in inches:
Height 29.5 x Width 31.5 x Depth 18.5 – Closed
Height 28.7 x Width 31.5 x Depth 31.5 – Open
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.
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.
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 produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
Our reference: 08921