EMPIRE ORMOLU MOUNTED MAHOGANY FIRESCREEN
France, circa early 19th century
Item # 1402KRP28-P
A very fine presentation piece, this firescreen frames an early hand-stitched tapestry depicting a classical scene of a figure kneeling while tending to the trunk of a tree. The tree is sawn midsection, but fresh branches and foliage have sprouted from the cut and a large vine crawls snakes it's way from the ground. The scene is framed octagonally and the panel is edged with a beige linen. The fire screen was crafted to allow this scene to be changed, as regular use would certainly result in it's deterioration before the fireplace - by lifting the projecting crest of the screen, the entire tapestry lifts from the grooves within which it is set on a rectangular frame.
There is a distinct classical influence in this architectural work - the crest is a squared and somewhat severe rectangular plank of solid mahogany, embellished with a floral rosette of very fine chased details and flanked by anthemions that seem to sprout floral bouquets at the end. Forward and outward facing sides of the corners are finished in floral rosettes over the tapered corinthian columns raising the pressed brass cylindrical mount, each column terminating in a squat brass mount.
The legs dovetail into the square block corners to oppose the through tenon of the turned column, the stretcher joining perpendicular to these with a dovetail of equal size. The legs are beautifully proportionate to the overall form, of perfect size and only subtle taper to terminate in square molded brass caster feet.
It is a beautiful accent piece for the classical living room.
Measurements: 36 3/4" high x 22 1/16" wide x 13 9/16" deep (at feet)
Tapestry discolored, probably fireplace smoke; tapestry backing is torn in several spots. Three replaced rosettes. Some chipping and loss to mahogany veneers in a few spots, more noteworthy where the legs tenon into the posts.