Late 18th century Louis XVI cartonnier desk.
Era: Louis XVI.
Materials: wooden veneer, gilt bronze.
Dim: H: 160 cm/ L 65 cm/ P 38 cm.
A late 18th century wooden veneer piece of furniture for keeping papers called "cartonnier", in its upper part two drawers and a pair of side doors adorned with delicate pull mask-shaped handles and fluted stripes in gilt bronze. Inside, six drawers decorated with gold painted foliages. The low part presents the same gilded decoration and two side doors, resting on foliated hoof feet. A sliding table forms a shelf for writing or putting papers. On the right side, a door hides a locker. Gilded fluted stripes underline each party of our cartonnier. Good condition with light usury traces.
The symmetry and refined simplicity of the ornaments on our furniture are characteristic of the Louis XVI style. Never before in the history of French furniture had cabinetmakers shown such great finesse in the execution of details. They knew how to show a very confident taste in the choice of neoclassical decorative motifs, rich enough to lighten the aridity of orthogonal forms. An incomparable feature of the Louis XVI period is the meticulous treatment of the ornaments by the sculptors and especially by the bronze workers. Among the most common motifs, often inherited from ancient architecture, are dentils, fluted baguettes, acanthus, oak or pearl friezes, interlacing, ribbons, rosaries and lancets. Among the pieces of furniture most in favor at the end of the eighteenth century, there are the chests of drawers, the bottom of cabinets, the cabinets and the desserte. The number of shelves and their arrangement varied considerably from one room to another; some models had a large mirror at the back.