Sold at Sotheby’s 22 April 2010
A LOUIS XV STYLE GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED MAHOGANY AND SATINÉ BUREAU PLAT AFTER THE MODEL ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH BAUMHAUER
PARIS, CIRCA 1880-85
the frieze fitted with three drawers, the far right drawer with a coffre fort, opposed by three dummy drawers, the underside with two branded stamps A BEURDELEY / A PARIS.
height 30 1/2 in.; width 4 ft. 11 1/4 in.; depth 31 1/2 in.
77.5 cm; 150.5 cm; 80 cm
See Pradère, A., 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 copy of the18th century model attributed to Joseph Baumhauer and thought to have belongued to Empress Catherine II of Russia see: Connaissance des Arts, Numéro 157, Mars 1965, pp. 83-89 (illustrated) p. 88, fig.12.
Alfred Beurdeley (1808-1882) Specialized in reproducing the most magnificent articles from the Garde Meuble National. The firm exhibited and won awards at all of the major international exhibitions during the second half of the 19th century. The quality and skill employed in production was of exceptional quality. The firm produced hand-chased and mercury gilded ormolu mounts, which were often difficult to distinguish from late 18th century examples, and were considered the finest in Paris. The firm was pioneered by Jean Beurdeley (1772-1853), later managed by his son Louis-Auguste-Alfred, and who finally imparted it to his son Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis in 1875. The firm was established at 32 Rue Louis-Le-Grand, and also owned pavillion de Hanovre, where the firm was based while Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis added two additional workshops at 20 and 24 Rue Dautancourt. The company’s workshops closed in 1895 and Beurdeley’s stock was sold at a number of auctions conducted by the Galerie Georges Petit of Paris. Two auction catalogues of the collection were published in 1895 and sales were held between March 6-8 and May 27-28, of that year.
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 produce very few pieces, around fifteen in all, in the process of being constructed and considering the size of his business it would seem to indicate 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.