Antique French Ormolu Mounted Bureau Plat Desk Writing Table 19th C


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Object Description

This is a gorgeous antique French ormolu mounted Louis Revival kingwood bureau plat, circa 1880 in date.

The beautifully shaped rectangular top has a magnificent decorative ormolu border, raised corner cartouches, a plethora of stunning ormolu mounts and a decorative gold tooled black leather inset writing surface.

It has three useful frieze drawers on one side with dummy drawers on the other. It is raised on four elegant cabriole legs applied with stunning gilded ormolu female caryatids and terminating in splendid ormolu sabot feet.

It has fabulous ormolu handles and mounts, working locks, original key and three capacious drawers for all of your storage needs.

Being finished on all sides it can stand freely in the middle of a room, making it extremely suitable for a large home or office.

This is a truly lovely piece which will display beautifully in a modern or antique interior.

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 177 x Depth 95

Dimensions in inches:
Height 30.3 x Width 69.7 x Depth 37.4

is a classic furniture wood, almost exclusively used for inlays on very fine furniture. Occasionally it is used in the solid for small items and turned work, including parts of billiard cues, e.g., those made by John Parris. It is brownish-purple with many fine darker stripes and occasional irregular swirls. Occasionally it contains pale streaks of a similar colour to sapwood.

The wood is very dense and hard and can be brought to a spectacular finish. it turns well but due to its density and hardness can be difficult to work with hand tools. It also has a tendency to blunt the tools due to its abrasive properties.

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.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Our reference: 09791

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
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Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 8809 9605

Dealer Location

Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

Please note that we are also open on alternate Saturdays. Please call to confirm.

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