This is a fantastic and highly decorative antique French gilt bronze mountedEmpireRevival sofa, circa 1880 in date.
Crafted from fabulous solidmahoganyand smothered in fabulous high qualityormolumounts reminiscent of the Empire style with Egyptian motifs such as sphinxes, urns, laurels and Napoleonic symbols.
The arms terminating in classical female masks,standing on elegant tapering legs that terminate in ormolu sabots and upholstered in a fabulous golden fabric
Add an elegant touch to your home with this exceptional sofa.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned and polished in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 97 x Width 124 x Depth 59
Dimensions in inches:
Height 3 foot, 2 inches x Width 4 feet, 1 inch x Depth 1 foot, 11 inches
Our reference: A1470a
Empire style,is an early-19th-centurydesignmovement inarchitecture,furniture, otherdecorative arts, and thevisual artsfollowed in Europe and America until around 1830.
The style originated in and takes its name from the rule ofNapoleon Iin theFirst French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to theBiedermeierstyle in the German-speaking lands,Federal stylein the United States and to theRegency stylein Britain. The previous style was calledLouis 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 asmahoganyandebony, 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 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-caratgoldin amercuryamalgamto an object ofbronze.The mercury is driven off in akilnleaving behind a gold-coloured veneerknown as'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding orfire-gilding, in which a solution ofnitrate of mercuryis applied to a piece ofcopper,brass, or bronze, followed by the application of anamalgamof 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 around 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.Electroplatingis the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used onsilver, to producesilver-gilt(also known asvermeil).
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 late1850's, this particular variety became all but extinct.
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