This is a fine antique French gilt-bronze mounted mahogany Empire Directoire bureau plat, Circa 1860 in date.
The rectangular top with a green gold-tooled inset leather writing surface and a very decorative gilt-bronze border.
The frieze has a central drawer flanked by pairs of side drawers with shaped corner brackets to the ‘knee-hole. The desk features finely cast ormolu mounts in the classic Empire style including anthemion, palmette mounts, swan escutcheons and laurel wreaths.
The desk is raised on four square section tapering legs standing on square gilded lion’s paw sabots.
It is finished all round so it can stand freely in the centre of a room and is sure to get lots of attention wherever it is placed.
Complete with original working locks and keys.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished, waxed and releathered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 77 x Width 150 x Depth 80
Dimensions in inches:
Height 30.3 x Width 59.1 x Depth 31.5
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.
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: A1423