Object Description

This is a fine antique French gilt-bronze mounted mahogany Empire style bureau plat, Circa 1900 in date.

It has a green inset gold-tooled leather writing surface and the top has a very decorative gilt-bronze border.

The frieze has a central drawer and is profusely decorated with gilt bronze anthemion plaques. The desk is raised on four square section tapering legs with trailing foliate ormolu mounts and treminating in ormolu spade feet.

It is finished all around so it can stand freely in the centre of a room.

It is an absolute masterpiece which is sure to get a lot of attention wherever it is placed.

Complete with original working lock and key.

Condition:
In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 78 x Width 139 x Depth 79

Dimensions in inches:
Height 30.7 x Width 54.7 x Depth 31.1

Gilt Bronze / 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: 08655

Object Classification

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