This is an exceptional quality antique Victorian ormolu mounted burr walnut, ebonised and marquetry inlaid serpentine ended credenza, circa 1860 in date.
The entire piece highlights the unique and truly exceptional pattern of the book matched burr walnut veneers which has been enriched by the beautiful boxwood line inlay and marquetry inlaid decoration.
The credenza features a central door inlaid with a musical trophy and foliate scrolls, flanked on each side by serpentine glazed cabinets outlined with ormolu mounts.
The interior is enclosing blue plush lined shelves and the credenza sits on a conforming base with toupie feet.
It’s attention to detail and lavish decoration are certain to draw the eye wherever you choose to place it in your home.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished and waxed in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 108 x Width 166 x Depth 43
Dimensions in inches:
Height 3 foot, 6 inches x Width 5 foot, 5 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 produce some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
is decorative artistry where pieces of material of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.
The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian “Cosmati”-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the “hardstones” used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.
Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.
Ormolu – Gilt Bronze (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..
Our reference: A2799