Antique Ornate Ormolu Mounted French Empire Revival Pedestal Desk C1920

GBP 8,500.00

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Object Description

This is an exquisite French Empire Revival pedestal desk, Circa 1920 in date.

This desk has been beautifully crafted from flame mahogany. The top is inset with a beautiful gold tooled black leather writing surface and has a decorative ormolu border.

It has been smothered in a plethora of gilded ormolu mounts making it an incredibly imposing and impressive item of furniture.

The desk features seven drawers for maximum storage, it is freestanding and the back is beautifully finished with three dummy drawers along the frieze and a central modesty panel.

Tt is raised on elegant square tapering legs that terminate in ormolu sabots and is complete with working locks, keys and tassels.

This desk will soon become the centrepiece of your furniture collection, there is no mistaking the sophisticated quality and design and it is certain to enhance the style and elegance of any living area, bedroom, or reception.

In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished, waxed and releathered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 80 x Width 182 x Depth 88

Dimensions in inches:
Height 31.5 x Width 71.7 x Depth 34.6

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.

Empire style,

is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America until around 1830.

The style originated in and takes its name from the rule of Napoleon I in the First French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon’s leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and to the Regency style in Britain. The previous style was called Louis XVI style, in France.

The Empire style was based on aspects of the Roman Empire. It is the second phase of neoclassicism which is also called “Directoire”, after a goverment system.
Furniture typically had symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient Greek and Roman empires.

The furniture was made from heavy woods such as mahogany and ebony, imported from the colonies, with dark finishes often with decorative bronze mounts. Marble tops were popular as were Egyptian motifs like sphinxes, griffins, urns and eagles and the Napoleonic symbols, the eagle, the bee, the initials “I” and a large “N.”
Gilded bronze (ormolu) details displayed a high level of craftsmanship.

Our reference: 09986

Object Details

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+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.