A superb French Directoire Ormolu Mounted Pedestal Desk & Armchair set, Circa 1850 in date.
The desk has a rectangular top with an inset gilt-tooled green leather writing surface and trimmed with ormolu borders above three frieze drawers and a slides at each end. Each pedestal features three drawers and is flanked by reeded colunms inset with ormolu.
The matching gondola shaped ormolu mounted armchair has a caned seat and is complete with a green leather covered custion.
It is raised on turned front legs with sabre hind legs.
The desk is freestanding with beautiful panelling on all sides and comes complete with the original working locks and keys.
This desk set will soon become the centrepiece of your furniture collection, there is no mistaking the sophisticated quality and design and it is certain to enhance the style and elegance of any living area, bedroom, or reception.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished, waxed and re-leathered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 79 x Width 146 x Depth 81 – Desk
Height 79 x Width 64 x Depth 51 – Armchair
Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 7 inches x Width 4 foot, 9 inches x Depth 2 foot, 8 inches – Desk
Height 2 foot, 7 inches x Width 2 feet, 1 inch x Depth 1 foot, 8 inches – Armchair
style was a period in the decorative arts, fashion, and especially furniture design in France concurrent with the Directory (November 2, 1795–November 10, 1799), the later part of the French Revolution. The style uses Neoclassical architectural forms, minimal carving, planar expanses of highly grained veneers, and applied decorative painting. It is a style transitional between Louis XVI and Empire.
The Directoire style was primarily established by the architects and designers Charles Percier (1764–1838) and Pier François Léonard Fontaine (1762–1853). In its use of Neoclassical architectural form and decorative motifs the style anticipates the slightly later and more elaborate Empire style, which was introduced after Napoleon established the First French Empire.
It reflected the Revolutionary belief in the values of republican Rome.
Ormolu – Gilt Bronze (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.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt..
Our reference: A2592