Antique French Empire Revival Mahogany Three-Piece Salon Suite  19th C For Sale
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Antique French Empire Revival Mahogany Three-Piece Salon Suite 19th C

About

This is a fantastic and highly decorative antique French Empire three-piece salon suite, comprising a sofa and a pair of armchairs, circa 1880 in date. It has been crafted from fabulous solid mahogany and is smothered in fabulous high quality ormolu mounts reminiscent of the Empire style with Egyptian motifs such as sphinxes, urns, laurels and Napoleonic symbols. The arms terminating in classical female masks and standing on elegant tapering legs that terminate in ormolu sabots. It has been reupholstered in a fabulous fabric This gorgeous antique suite has been reupholstered in a fabulous coloured fabric and will be a wonderful addition to one special room in your home. Condition: In excellent condition having been beautifully restored and reupholstered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation. Dimensions in cm: Height 102 x width 126 x depth 57 - sofa. Height 99 x width 60 x depth 55 - chair. Dimensions in inches: Height 3 feet, 4 inches x width 4 feet, 2 inches x depth 1 foot, 10 inches - sofa. Height 3 feet, 3 inches x width 2 feet x depth 1 foot, 10 inches - chair. Empire style, is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America until circa 1830. The style originated in and takes its name from the rule of Napoleon I in the First French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and to the Regency style in Britain. The previous style was called Louis XVI style, in France. The Empire style was based on aspects of the Roman Empire. It is the second phase of neoclassicism which is also called "Directoire", after a goverment system. Furniture typically had symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient Greek and Roman empires. The furniture was made from heavy woods such as mahogany and ebony, imported from the colonies, with dark finishes often with decorative bronze mounts. Marble tops were popular as were Egyptian motifs like sphinxes, griffins, urns and eagles and the Napoleonic symbols, the eagle, the bee, the initials "I" and a large "N." Gilded bronze (ormolu) details displayed a high level of craftsmanship. Ormolu - (from French 'ormoulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'. The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object. No true ormolu was produced in France after circa 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil). Mahogany is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species. Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual mahogany was almost hidden from view. Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect. Although mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of Fine musical instruments). Cuban mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850′s, this particular variety became all but extinct.  

Details

  • In the Style Of
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1880
  • Dimensions
    H 40.16 in. x W 49.61 in. x D 22.45 in.H 102 cm x W 126 cm x D 57 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    07486
  • Sold As
    Set of 3
  • Reference Number
    LU95065427703
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in London, GB
Associations:
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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