Sold by Sotheby’s 26 October 2010
A LARGE GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED KINGWOOD BUREAU PLAT AFTER THE MODEL ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH BAUMHAEUR
FRENCH, CIRCA 1890
three frieze drawers and fitted with a gilt-tooled brown leather writing surface.
height 31 in.; width 73 in.; depth 40 1/2 in. 79 cm; 185.5 cm; 103 cm
See A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, ed. du Chêne, Paris, 1989, p. 232, pl. 233 for the black and white illustration of this model formerly from the Kotschoubey collection and now in the Louvre.
The present desk is a larger copy of the18th century model attributed to Joseph Baumhauer and thought to have belonged to Empress Catherine II of Russia see: Connaissance des Arts, Numéro 157, Mars 1965, pp. 83-89 (illustrated) p. 88, fig.12.
Joseph Baumhauer (d. 1772), ébéniste privilégie du Roi circa 1749, otherwise know as Joseph, had German origins and settled in Paris before 1745. Although he was not a maître, he often stamped his pieces Joseph and had a highly successful workshop in rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine. An inventory taken after his death reveals that he produced very few pieces, around fifteen in all. Considering the size of his business, it seems that he worked mainly on commission or for the marchands-merciers. Joseph’s clientèle included the French aristocrats as well as Austrian and Russian clients, a number of his important pieces in the rococo style being in the Hermitage.