Louis XIV-Style Boulle Bureau Plat

  • The elegance of Boulle marquetry is fully realized in this Louis XIV-style bureau plat
  • The writing table is based upon a celebrated prototype by the renowned ébénistes Béfort and Gros
  • Boulle marquetry is an elaborate design of gilded brass and tortoiseshell or ebony
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3717

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The elegance of Boulle marquetry is fully realized in this Louis XIV-style bureau plat, which represents the finest of 19th-century French furnishing. The writing table is clearly based upon a celebrated prototype by the renowned ébénistes Mathieu Béfort dit Béfort Jeune and Jean-Louis-Benjamin Gros, master craftsmen who perfected the Boulle style of marquetry in the 19th century.

The well-balanced design epitomizes the 19th-century revival of the Louis XIV taste, which to this day remains popular among collectors for both its grace and opulence. Drawing upon Greco-Roman influences, it features a mask of Bacchus at its central drawer and stands upon four cabriole legs surmounted by ormolu caryatids. These motifs recall a series of similar bureaux plats created circa 1715 by the most important French ébéniste of the Louis XIV period, André-Charles Boulle — the cabinetmaker famous for developing the lavish marquetry that now bears his name. One of these bureau plat, which was made for the Prince of Condé, currently resides in Versailles, while the other once belonged to Mademoiselle de Choiseul.

The present example continues in this grand tradition of Boulle marquetry, which has been beloved for more than three centuries. The complex technique involves the perfect placement of hand-cut materials such as gilded brass and tortoiseshell to achieve designs that are as elaborate as they are intricate. Prized among collectors for its timeless sense of luxury, Boulle marquetry is at its best on furniture such as this bureau plat.

Late 19th century

60" wide x 34" deep x 30 1/4" high
Louis XIV-Style Boulle Bureau Plat
Period: 19th Century
Origin: France
Type: Desk/Writing Tables
Depth: 34.0 Inches
Width: 60.0 Inches
Height: 30.25 Inches
Style: Louis XIV
Louis XIV-Style Boulle Bureau Plat
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