A mid 19th century superb quality French Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted boulle marquetry bibliotheque (bookcase) in excellent condition.
This piece consists of a wooden top with brass stringing and fine quality egg & dart ormolu moulding with a shaped frieze with engraved boulle work of tortoiseshell and brass with acanthus ormolu mounts to each corner.
The bookcase has two full length doors, each with two glazed panels surrounded by fine quality tortoiseshell & engraved brass boulle work, brass stringing and ebony banding with two ormolu escutcheons and key to the centre.
Each glazed panel is surrounded by a decorative ormolu moulding, the top glazed panels being of arched form with the bottom panels being rectangular.
To either side of the doors to the top are large fine quality ormolu mounts of cherubs surrounded with scrolling acanthus. the mounts being stamped on the reverse ‘BT’.
These lead down to panels of inlaid tortoiseshell and engraved brass boulle work with decorative ormolu mouldings to each side and terminating down to large stylised acanthus ormolu mounts.
The side sections are ebonised and consist of brass inlay with ormolu paterae. At the top of each side panel is an ormolu cherub figure, one holding a telescope and a planet, symbolising Astronomy and the other holding a caduceus (a winged staff with two twisted snakes) and books, symbolising medicine, as well as possibly commerce and learning. To the centre of the side panels is an ormolu mount of a mythological lion creature, possibly a manticore.
The base is of inverted break form with a highly decorative ormolu moulding. The base is ebonised and in each corner has brass inlay with a large square ormolu mount. The central section has a scrolling acanthus ormolu mount to either side with a central ormolu mask of fine quality.
This is a very rare item and of excellent quality condition and can be used as either a bookcase or display cabinet.