Antique Pair Italian Burr Walnut Serpentine Bedside Chests 19th C

GBP 3,650.00

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Object Description

This is a stunning pair of Antique Italian burr walnut and ormolu mounted serpentine fronted Petite Commodes, or bedside chests, circa 1830 in date.

They are crafted from the most beautiful burr walnut with decorative gilded ormolu mounts and handles. The tops with crossbanded borders and moulded edges and each features two drawers with acanthus scroll ormolu handles and raised on cabriole legs, terminating in ormolu sabots.

This craftsmanship could serve any purpose, perfect as a pair of bedside chests or as a small pair of commodes in the drawing room.

A truly gorgeous pair, they deserve pride of place in any furniture collection.

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

Dimensions in cm:
Height 76 x Width 57 x Depth 44

Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 6 inches x Width 1 foot, 10 inches x Depth 1 foot, 5 inches

Burr Walnut
refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.

(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: A3565

Object Details

  • dimensions
    W:57 x H:76 x D:44 centimeters
  • period
  • country
  • year
    Circa 1830

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00

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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