An Exceptional Louis XIV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted, Cut Brass and Tortoiseshell Inlaid Ebony and Ebonised Boulle Bureau Mazarin after the Model by André-Charles Boulle with Decorations after Jean Bérain. This exceptional Bureau Mazarin is decorated overall in première partie Boulle work with intricate arabesques of scrolling foliage and strapwork punctuated by exotic figures and grotesques.
Stamped ‘VF Paris’ between crossed keys on the back of the lock.
This desk form was named after Cardinal Mazarin, regent of France from 1642 to 1661. It is the earliest predecessor of the pedestal desk and is typically supported by eight legs united by ‘X’ or ‘H’ shaped cross stretchers.
The boulle inlay incorporates sophisticated singeries and grotesque decoration depicting grotto scenes of classical gods with attendant monkeys taking the place of traditional fauns. The richly embellished desk top is centred by a classical grotesque depicting Jupiter seated holding a sceptre and carrying fire, (in the Baroque fashion). He is flanked to the right by Venus and Cupid and to the left by Mercury depicted with his petasus or winged hat and holding the caduceus.