Rare extra-large French Louis XVI Neoclassical style four-sided bureau plat, after a model by Jean-Henri Riesener displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Conforming rectangular top surface with original brown tooled leather top outlined with walnut border and bronze mounted trim edge. Bas-relief bronze extra-large middle drawer frieze with "Allegory of Nautical Science" depicting putti exploring nautical astronomy, after French Sculptor Clodion. On either side of the mythological scene is a large deep drawer adorned with intricately detailed 22 karat mercury gold bronze acanthus leaf and lily applique, bronze garland handle with a pair of rosette bronze mounts, 22 karat mercury bronze is of exceptional quality, the bronze is signed M + N eight times on the back of leaves. The Bureau Plat is supported on four Neoclassical round fluted tapering legs resembling a corinthian colum terminating in 22 karat gold bronze foliate shoes and wheels.
*special note .... this piece in the process of being restored to its original state, please see pictures of "before and after" of 22 karat mercury gold bronze, there is a picture of mercury gold bronze on the drawer completed and there is a photo of "before and after" of mercury gold foot and a closeup of the drawer. Will add more photos as the piece is done. It is a time consuming process, a great deal of tlc.
*After a model by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806,) German "ébeniste ",cabinet maker. Favorite cabinet-maker of Marie-Antoinette and official "ébéniste du roi, Cabinetmaker to French King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Celebrated and recognized for his work of the Neoclassical period. An important attribute of his on this desk is the scrolled bronze ornamentation. Riesener and other cabinetmakers working in the Neoclassical style also used delightful mythological allegorical scene to embellish secretaries, commodes, and tables.
*Clodion, a.k.a. Claude Michel (1738-1814 ) French sculptor, renowned for his bas-relief bronze and terracotta Bacchanalian scenes that exemplified the Rococo and Neoclassical Style". Celebrated for his relief on the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel in Paris.
*Neoclassical design was inspired by the discovery of ancient Pompeii, returning Greco-Roman style in furniture and architecture. Louis XVI's reign began in 1774 and his queen Marie-Antoinette was a lover of the arts and had much influence over the style. This 18th century design is timeless and elegant, but understated; it will compliment an antique setting, or adds exuberant contrasting highlights to modern and contemporary interior settings.
Period: Circa 1850
Place of Origin: France
Dimensions: 32 in.Hx72 in.Wx24 in.D
Condition: Excellent Antique Condition
Wear: Consistent with age and use.