Antique French Oval Free Standing Vernis Martin Cabinet Vitrine 19th C

GBP 4,250.00

Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

This is a stunning and rare antique French Vernis Martin free standing display cabinet in the Louis XV manner, circa 1880 in date.

The cabinet has a rouge marble top with an ormolu pierced brass half gallery over an ormolu panelled frieze.

The cabinet is fully glazed all round and is fitted with a door on each side, and they enclose two glass and one velvet lined shelf.

The lower sections of the cabinet are all with fitted with decorative Vernis Martin panels depicting courting couples in gardens and the cabinet is raised on ormolu mounted toupie feet.

Complete with working locks and key.

Add an elegant touch to your home with this lovely free standing cabinet.

In really excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 145 x Width 73 x Depth 53

Dimensions in inches:
Height 4 foot, 9 inches x Width 2 foot, 5 inches x Depth 1 foot, 9 inches

Vernis Martin
is a lustrous lacquer substitute widely used in the 18th century to decorate furniture and such personal articles as brisé fans, snuffboxes and clocks. The process of adding bronze or gold powder to green varnish was perfected by the French brothers Guillaume and Etienne-Simon Martin, hence its name “Vernis Martin”, as Vernis is French for varnish.

It is said to have been made by heating oil, copal and amber and then adding Venetian turpentine and the Martin brothers perfected the process with inclusions in the varnish, sprinkling spangles of silver plated copper wire into the wet varnish ground. Highly praised by Voltaire, it was developed to imitate East Asian lacquerware which was being imported into France during the Louis XV period. Vernis Martin was made in several colours, green, black and a golden red being the most characteristic.
(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.

Our reference: A3174

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

10:00 - 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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