LOUIS XVI STYLE MAHOGANY AND TOOLED LEATHER CARTONNIER
Probably French, circa last quarter of 19th century
Item # 611CMB03Q
A most unusual and incredibly striking object, this tall case is designed in the Louis XVI taste with a distinct flair of the Neoclassical evident in it’s angular form. The facade is evenly distributed with perfect symmetry in the rectangular gilt-tooled leather faced boxes. These are a dense paperboard construction with a paper lining, the canvas reinforced lower edge allowing the leather covered front to drop easily when released at the top from the spring clip securing each. They open to reveal a tidy interior that would probably be used to store hats, shoes, flat laying clothing or files in an office. Originally the case would have been topped by a conforming marble, this having since been lost from the piece; however, the beautiful cove molding and brass banding finishes the top beautifully and it is not an obvious loss.
The construction of the case is impeccable, the tight dovetailing of secondary woods supplementing the paneled back of the case; crisp dovetailing of the drawer corners has resulted in a very tight box that moves smoothly in and out of the case at the bottom. Flanking the boxes are canted corners with deep fluting, the upper corners being mounted with cast gilt bronze mounts with acanthus foliage over draped garland - the reverse of these mounts retain the original foundry engraving. Each box retains original pulls, these also stamped verso by the foundry “J.T. 1516”. The whole rests over tapered molded legs terminating in squared gilt bronze sabots.
Measurements: 66 1/2” H x 15” D x 35” W
Wear and loss to leather of boxes; extensive discoloration to paper lining of most; some edge breaks inside boxes and tape holding some of the boxes together. Old surface blemishes throughout including flaking of varnish, abrasions, color variation and age appropriate wear. Case would have originally been topped by marble, this now absent. Incredibly sturdy, strong and heavy.