French Cylinder Desk – An outstanding quality 19th century French marquetry and parquetry ‘Bureau Cylinder’ in the manner of Marie Antoinette’s desk exhibited in the Louvre and made by Riesener. This desk is an exceptional 19th century copy of the desk that was made for her apartment in the Palais de Tuileries. The rectangular top with a pierced three-quarter gallery, above a cylinder roll-top centred with a musical trophy. The interior fitted with drawers and retractable writing slide. While the maker of this particular desk is not known, it is certainly by one of the best cabinet-makers of this period. Note the movement and quality of the handles and other mounts.
Click here to see similar pieces – Antique Writing Tables
Footnote: Jean Henri Riesener was born in Germany in 1734, moving to Paris, France in 1754 to take up an apprenticeship under Jean-Francois Oeben, a well known cabinetmaker, whose widow he later married. In 1768 he became a master ebiniste and soon after started to supply furniture to the crown. At the age of 40 he formally became ‘Ebeniste ordinaire du roi’ and was recognised as the greatest Parisian cabinetmaker from the Louis XVI period, undertaking Royal commissions for furnishings on a grand scale. He soon became one of the favoured cabinetmakers for Marie-Antoinette as well as many other Royal personages.
Using a variety of fine marquetry techniques, his furniture was considered better than many of his contemporaries, and he was particularly known for his exceptionally high quality ormolu mounts. His pieces often used intricate mechanisms to lock drawers or adjust and angle table tops, as seen in the famous Bureau du Roi (the King’s desk), also known as Louis XV’s roll-top secretary, designed between 1760 and 1769, in Palace of Versailles. From 1784, with France facing financial bankruptcy, the extravagant commissions slowed and were replaced by less expensive suppliers, even though Marie-Antoinette favoured his work into the 1780’s.
The French Revolution was a pivotal point in Rieseners career, with the fall of the monarchy, instructions were issued to remove all Royal insignias from his furniture in Versailles and replace the Royal motifs with neutral panels. Following the downturn in the economy, he elected to buy back his furniture which was being sold at pitiful prices, however when he later tried to resell his pieces, times had changed and many of his old clientele had died or moved on. Riesener died in 1801, in relative poverty in France, although his works live on as his distinctive furniture was much copied during the nineteenth century. His work can now be seen in The Wallace Collection, London.
Wallrocks only buy antiques that are sound. We are able to do this because we buy them in original condition and it provides the significant advantage of being able to see what has and has not been done to a piece over time. It is to our customers absolute benefit that we do this. It allows us to see, whether the quality or integrity has been compromised?
Wallrocks have very strict buying criteria…
- The furniture must be antique, and if not it needs to be of an unsually high standard to justify being purchased;
- Antiques must be of a very high quality;
- Our antiques must have correct proportion;
- Importantly, they must have integrity and aesthetic appeal.
While these criteria might seem obvious, it is difficult to find furniture that satisfy all of them at once.
Restoration & Interior Design
The process of bringing the collection back to life is incredibly exciting for our clients as it respectfully rescues long forgotten beauty, and allows clients to make their own personal mark on the antiques by determining how they are to be restored, to what level and with what finishes and fabrics.
Wallrocks offer an interior decorating service for our clients to help them put together their rooms and furniture beautifully. We have a passion for incorporating fine quality antiques into both contemporary and traditional settings to create breathtaking interiors. We combine expertise with a fresh, modern design sensibility which makes us uniquely placed to help customers realise their personal creative vision.
Our focus is to assist buyers who are ready to move on from the world of mass-produced furniture to be daring enough to explore the world of antiques – the world of living art.
Whatever you’re picturing, our custom service can create it. As well as guaranteeing the quality of the finished piece, we’ll advise you if any request threatens the integrity of the item. We have a beautiful collection of fabrics, leathers, trims, colours and finishes to choose from. To discuss restoration of any specific please please contact us.
We work very closely with clients to ensure the result is what they want.
Wallrocks has over 35 years experience shipping antiques all around the world.
Be assured that we invest in the safe delivery of all our antique furniture, and track all our deliveries. It is of paramount importance to us that your purchase arrives at your home safely, and we personally pack all items ourselves prior to shipping.
Delivery Within Australia
For delivery of antique furniture to anywhere beyond a 150 kilometre radius of Brisbane CBD, Wallrocks relies on a number of reputable carriers, depending on your requirements, to ensure safe delivery. Please ask for a quote.
We have a complimentary delivery service of antique furniture within a 150 kilometre radius of Brisbane CBD. We will personally deliver it to your door to guarantee it arrives safely.
International customers can be confident that Wallrocks are experienced in shipping freight around the world by sea and air. Freight charges will be determined and quoted at the time of purchase.
Please contact us to discuss your delivery options.
Wallrocks delivery service is subject to restoration times. Our pieces are hand restored in the traditional methods and do take some time. We will always do our best to fit in with our customers’ delivery time frames and will discuss this at the time of purchase.
Are you in mid-renovation? We offer free storage of your Wallrocks purchase for a negotiated period of time with individual customers. Please contact us to find out more…
We understand buying antiques online can be of concern for some customers. For this reason, if you purchase a piece from Wallrocks and the piece that arrives is not as we have described, then we will provide a 100% refund. In 35 years of business this has never been necessary, but we provide this option as a safety-net to all our customers.
If on receipt of delivery you simply do not like the piece, then we will provide a 100% refund up to seven days after delivery. In this scenario the customer must pay the return freight on the piece.
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