Lot n° 193
60000 - 80000
Result with fees
: 77 280EUR
An important chest of drawers inlaid with... - Lot 193 - Thierry de Maigret
An important chest of drawers inlaid with satinwood veneer, set in quartefeuilles in amaranth frames and reserves, against which stand out the bronze crosses on the front and the masks on the sides. The rich ormolu decoration is completed with rocaille falls, palmettes, leafy astragals and garlands on ribbons, knobs and sabots. Slightly sinuous in shape, it opens with two wide drawers without a crosspiece; the uprights and legs are knife-edge.
By Charles Cressent.
(Restoration of use; locks replaced; some traces of bronze fixing due to reversal of the central bronze of the bottom drawer).
Breche d'Alep marble top (restored at rear right corner).
H : 87 - W : 147 - D : 65 cm
- Alexandre Pradère, Charles Cressent sculpteur, ébéniste du Régent, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2003.
Although it bears neither signature nor stamp, this important commode can be unequivocally linked to the work of
Charles Cressent. In fact, its overall composition, the species of veneer used and its original chased and gilded bronze decoration are all decisive factors in such an attribution. Alexandre Pradère's biography of this craftsman methodically studies the career of Cressent who, in addition to "classical" furniture such as commodes, flat desks, bookcases, corner cabinets, armoires, medallions... he also specialized, like his famous colleague André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), in the production of furniture bronzes and sculptures, mainly commissioned by the great collectors for whom Cressent worked, demonstrating his exceptional creativity and the consistently impeccable quality of his castings. This brought him into conflict with the guild of master bronziers, whose members had exclusive rights to bronze work and were governed by the strict laws of the old Parisian guilds. However, Cressent continued to cast his own bronze models in his workshop, which enabled him to protect his ownership. The cabinetmaker adapted this model of commode with double S-brackets
We have examples in various important collections, including a similar one in the former Boisrouvay collection, as well as a similar one, but with some distinctive features, in the Château de Thoiry. Finally, a model almost identical to the one shown is preserved in the Musée des Arts décoratifs de Lyon and illustrated in Alexandre Pradère, op.cit., 2003, p.167, catalog 150.
Charles Cressent (1685-1768) was one of the most important Parisian cabinetmakers of the 18th century, and probably the most famous craftsman of Regency-style furniture, which he conveyed in his cabinetmaking and sculpture throughout his career. Son of a King's sculptor, he practiced sculpture in Amiens, the home of his grandfather, himself a sculptor and furniture maker. His early career was therefore dominated by learning the techniques of sculpture, to the extent that in 1714, it was by presenting a work in this specialty that he was admitted to the Académie de Saint Luc. He then settled in Paris and began working for a number of colleagues, before marrying the widow of cabinetmaker Joseph Poitou, former cabinetmaker to Duke Philippe d'Orléans, then Regent of the kingdom. Through this marriage, he took over the management of the workshop and continued the business so brilliantly that he in turn became the preferred supplier of the Regent, and then, on the latter's death in 1723, of his son Louis d'Orléans, who placed numerous orders with him and ensured his great prosperity during those years. His reputation quickly spread beyond the borders of the kingdom, and a number of European princes and kings commissioned works from the cabinetmaker, most notably King John V of Portugal and Elector Charles Albert of Bavaria. In France, he built up a rich private clientele including members of the high aristocracy, such as the Duc de Richelieu, and major collectors, notably the powerful Treasurer General of the Navy Marcellin de Selle. Throughout his career, Cressent never ceased to create his own models of bronzes, which were cast in his workshop, contrary to the laws of the guild of bronziers. This particularity, also found in the work of André-Charles Boulle, lends his work great homogeneity and above all demonstrates his exceptional talents as a sculptor.
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