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  • (717) 708-9017
  • 117 W Burd St. Shippensburg, PA 17257

About us

silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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French Provincial Black Painted "Mazarin" Desk | ca. late 18th century


Regular Price: $12,000.00
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catalog text

France, circa last quarter of the 18th century
Item # 403ZLJ18Q 

An absolutely stunning eight-legged "Mazarin" pedestal desk in early black paint, the desk features a pair of drawers in either pedestal flanking a single broader central drawer. It is a picture of austerity, completely devoid of any carving or surface embellishment - it was designed with only keyhole escutcheons for the drawers so that the form would not be distracted by pulls. The black painted surface would allow the desk to entirely disappear except that the ravages of time have decorated the desk with the most magnificent patina - the black ranges from a silky and waxy translucent surface to utter pitch in matte texture as oxidization of the paints are opposed by two hundred and fifty years of rubbing and handling.

The drawers are hand dovetailed in the typical rustic manner of the Provincial carpenters. The total form is raised on eight of the most unusual legs that almost depict the calf of a leg as opposed to the knee of a leg found in most forms, the cupid's bow of the apron first contracting in at the top of the leg, swelling to create a "calf" and then pulling in a sharp taper to the toes.

An absolute strikepoint piece. Ready to place despite the lengthy condition notes.

Measurements: 32 1/8" H x 26" D x 61 5/8" W, 22" H from the ground to the underside of the drawer

Condition Report:
Early black paint with some later touch ups, all paint heavily oxidized and distressed. Extreme surface wear and flaking of the surfaces - and further flaking may occur during shipping prior to being placed in your residence. The torque point where the central drawer connects both pedestals has been restored a few times - note the additional wooden pegs in the back of the desk; this torque point is again slightly loose, though not in a way that needs to be addressed; expect to have a bit of wiggle when lifting and moving the desk, but when it is in place the desk is incredibly sturdy and immovable. Loss to the "cupid's bow" scrolled shaping of the apron on one side of the desk. Joint separations throughout along with associated gesso and paint losses. No keys, locks untested. Legs have shrunk out of being straight, though they hit the ground and support the desk perfectly - some competent repairs to the legs. We feel the desk would be most enjoyable with a piece of glass placed on top - while we would be happy to quote glass and ship it with a piece of glass on top, this is usually much more economical to simply order locally once the desk is in your home.