Rare French Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk by Jean-Joseph Chapuis c. 1805(226 views)
EXCEPTIONAL EMPIRE CYLINDRICAL SECRETARY DESK, Stamped twice "ÂÂChapuis"ÂÂ for ebeniste Jean-Joseph Chapuis (French/Belgian, 1765-1864)
Item # 510ZNP31S
Of superb quality in every regard, this most magnificent cylindrical secretaire is a work of art that commands the attention of whatever room it becomes a part of. Crafted by the Parisian workshop of Jean-Joseph Chapuis, the work is stamped above both of the lower masks "ÂÂCHAPUIS"ÂÂ. An important ebeniste, Jean-Joseph Chapuis was a Belgian master craftsman at Rue de Borgval in Paris, France starting in 1798. The present example is crafted in the Egyptian taste, probably c. 1805-15; the upper section is flanked on either side by ebonized male masks while the lower section features equally fine castings of a classical Egyptian female, all four resting over tapering columns, both lower columns terminating in ebonized cast bronze feet of carefully chiseled detail. The selections of mahogany employed on each surface are above reproach, the matched crotch-mahogany flaming through each of the drawers in an upward plume. The color retention is exceptional, the deep ruby of the vibrant veneers visually magnetic. Most attractive original brass edging emphasizes the rectangularity of the desk, each glass door finished in tubing that matches the waist of the case. Each drawer retains original cast and gilded bronze lion mask pulls with original locks and untouched structure, the secondary woods being golden oak with finely hand cut dovetail pins at the front and rear corners and the bottom board set in grooves on either side. The cylinder top easily rotates to reveal the desk area, the tooled leather writing surface pulling out to provide a fuller more practical depth. A series of small drawers organize the interior and upon removing each of the upper drawers reveals hidden storage; the left and center drawer host a trio of small drawers tucked into the right, the far right drawer removed to reveal a sunk well beneath the drawer. The back of the case in both the upper and lower show a highly organized mind, an approach to woodwork that allows for shifting and shrinking of members without compromising the strength of the case; the result is the simply outstanding condition of this fine piece after over two hundred years of service. Pinned tenon-mortise construction coupled with open dovetailing of the joints locks the entire case together with permanency. A serious work, this is a most impressive strike point that truly roots a room in the first quarter of the 19th Century. For the collector that demands the best of connoisseurship in furnishings and decorations, this is a most fine investment grade acquisition that will certainly be cherished for a lifetime.
Measurements: 25 1/2"ÂÂ D x 51 3/8"ÂÂ W x 82 5/8"ÂÂ H, 29 3/16"ÂÂ H to writing surface; writing surface 45 1/2"ÂÂ W x 18 7/8"ÂÂ D
Condition Report: Crotch mahogany veneers with some surface ripple, cracking and checking, overall remaining in exceptional condition with rich and vibrant color throughout. Minor blemishes and use indicators to surfaces, including veneer chipping and loss around some drawers and drawer blades, light wear to feet and corners, etc. as expected. All hardware is original and untouched. The writing surface retains a very early worn leather, this naturally cracked and worn with stains and discoloration. The corners of the mahogany frame around the leather have some shrink cracking and accompanying filler. The sides of the case show inactive pest damage at the bottom. Inside of the bookcase, the shelving system and shelves are later additions to the case - these were added in a manner that in no way alters the interior and can easily be removed. Glass in both doors is replaced. Some crest molding with patching. Losses to molding beneath the left lower mask. Two original keys are retained and all locks are functioning. Overall remaining in exceptional original condition.
Condition Report: Due to image limitations clients should visit our gallery website (www.sillafineantiques.com) prior to purchase to review all item images. Verbal condition reports are also available by calling (717) 658-8274 Monday through Friday 9a-5:30p or by emailing email@example.com
Notes: $399 freight shipping to most locations in the Continental U.S by common freight carrier with a delivery timeline of 10-15 business days (west coast up to 20 business days). Quotes do not include lift-gate service, which is recommended for weights over 150lbs - lift gate service is available upon request for an additional $65. White glove delivery service quotes are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the shop at (717) 658-8274. Please review all shipping notes for details and exceptions. (Shipping code 1000)
Artist or Maker: Jean-Joseph Chapuis (French/Belgian, 1765-1864)
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