Cabinet-maker and Bronze-caster
Flat Desk with Espagnolettes
Stamped twice A BEURDELEY A PARIS on the crosspieces.
Lacquer, Gilded bronze, Leather
Height : 78 cm (30,7 in.) ; Length : 132 cm (51,9 in.) ; Depth : 72 cm (28,3 in.)
Elegant Louis XV style double-side desk in lacquered wood and gilded bronze. It is adorned on all sides, in foliated bronze cartouches, with a decoration of birds and golden landscapes painted on a black background in the style of Japan. Covered with a top sheathed with black leather and surrounded by a mold, it opens on one side with three drawers. The all rests on four cabriole feet adorned at the angles with curly espagnolettes, and ends in leafy sabots.
This desk is to be linked to the work of Charles Cressent (1685-1768), cabinet-maker of the Crown.
In 1875, Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley (1847-1919) was at first assistant to and later succeeded his father Louis-Auguste Beurdeley, one of the main cabinet-makers of the Second Empire, specializing in 18th century furniture. Louis-Auguste was the star whenever he exhibited and was “most favored by the royal and imperial families”. Although he produced the same kind of works of art as his father, Alfred Beurdeley was also a very well-known art collector and a skilled bronze sculptor. With Dasson, Grohé, Sauvresy and Fourdinois, the most famous artists of the period, he took part in the 1878 Universal Exhibition and won the gold medal. Crowned with glory he went so far as to open a shop in New York. His participation in the 1883 Amsterdam Universal Exhibition drew considerable attention to his work and “Alfred Beurdeley, Fabricant de bronzes d’art” was then awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest official mark of recognition. He thus won the respect of both the government and contemporary art critics. His last presentation was during the 1889 Universal and International Exhibition, when the director of the Exhibition wrote in his report : “The talent of Mr Beurdeley is self evident when one inspects his furniture.”
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