This is a truly beautiful large antique French Gonçalo Alves and ormolu mounted Louis Revival bijouterie display table circa 1860 in date.
The display table features a hinged and shaped bevelled glass top inlaid with harebells and acanthus leaves, flanked by bevelled glass sides and it has it’s original burgundy baize lined interior.
The brass hinges, the working lock, complete with original key, are of the highest quality. The inset bevelled glass is framed with rocco style ormolu mounts in the form of acanthus leaves and it stands on elegant ormolu mounted cabriole legs terminating in ormolu sabots and united by a floral marquetry inlaid undertier.
Bijouterie tables were designed to store and display a collection of small valuable items, they are also called table vitrines, and display tables.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned and polished in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 85 x Width 92 x Depth 62
Dimensions in inches:
Height 33.5 x Width 36.2 x Depth 24.4
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..
Gonçalo Alves is a hardwood (from the Portuguese name, Gonçalo Alves). It is sometimes referred to as tigerwood — a name that underscore the wood’s often dramatic, contrasting color scheme.
While the sapwood is very light in color, the heartwood is a sombre brown, with dark streaks that give it a unique look. The wood’s color deepens with exposure and age and even the plainer-looking wood has a natural luster.
Two species are usually listed as sources for gonçalo alves: Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens, although other species in the genus may yield similar wood; the amount of striping that is present may vary.
In the high tropical forests of Central and South America, well-drained soils furnish nutrients for a variety of dense, durable hardwoods sought for maritime use, heavyconstruction, and furniture. The Spanish began harvesting in Latin American forests in the early 1500s to provide timber for boatbuilding and repair. By the early 1900s, however, steel ships had replaced wooden ones, and the interest in tropical forests by both Europeans and Americans shifted to appearance-grade woods for furniture.
Although history fails to provide us with a shopping list of species from either harvest period, it’s probable that the wood we know today as goncalo alves has always been sought. That’s because goncalo alves, considered one of the most beautiful of tropical woods, has a tough reputation, too. Strong and durable, it’s used for construction in its homeland and secondarily for fine furniture. Woodworkers elsewhere treasure the wood for decorative items and veneer accents.
Our reference: A1320