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James Mont Cinnabar Lacquered Secretaire


Extremely rare, possibly one of a kind, secretary cabinet with bookcase by the godfather of exotic modernism, James Mont, circa 1950. Hand rubbed cinnabar lacquered finish with applied hand-carved giltwood embellishments. Mont's lacquer finishes are famously complex and often built up in more than a dozen or so layers, each layer laboriously hand buffed before the next application. These tones present as a burnt orange and appear almost to have been airbrushed. The structure itself is in two sections - the two door bookcase above with two adjustable shelves and the cabinet below with slanted sides and slant front writing desk above a single large drawer, on four tapered square legs. Two hidden horizontal supports slide out of the cabinet to support the writing surface. Writing area is fitted with slots and cubbies and two little drawers. In this unique secretary, James Mont appears to have synthesized his penchant for orientalist chinoiserie motifs with the Silhouette of the Italian Rococo. N.B. From the same estate we have also acquired a dramatic large James Mont cinnabar lacquered console server cabinet with gilded chinoiserie grille screen which we will be presenting shortly.


  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1955
  • Period
  • Condition
    Good. Very good original vintage condition. We have matched the lacquer and have touched up any chips and have buff polished the finish..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses.
  • Dimensions

    H 85.5 in. x W 47 in. x D 19.5 in.

    H 217.17 cm x W 119.38 cm x D 49.53 cm

  • Seller location
    Hingham, MA
  • Reference number

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