French Louis XV Secretary Desk
This French Louis XV secretary desk dates back to around 1760 and comes from France. This exquisite piece stands out for its beautiful kingwood veneer and marquetry on an oak carcass. The secretaire with a serpentine shaped front stands on four curved legs which are embellished with foliate Rococo bronze applications. The lower part has two doors which open to a spacious compartment with a shelf. The upper part has a sloping writing flap. The outside is decorated with a beautiful veneer and marquetry pattern. The inside of the writing compartment has 3 small drawers and six open compartments. An antique brownish gold embossed leather covers the writing surface.
The secretaire measures H: 43.11 in. (109.5 cm), B: 43.30 in. (110 cm), D: 27.95 in. (71 cm) and comes refinished with a shellac polish. It ships from Germany and includes shipping costs to Boston.
The Louis XV Style
The Louis XV style can be broken down into three periods. During the early years (1715-1730) when the King was too young to rule, furniture stuck after the vein of the larger, geometric Louis XIV style. The so called Regency lasted from 1730 until 1750, during “The First Style,” we began to see more ornate and exuberant designs, as well as asymmetrical construction. This fashion of design was referred to as Rococo with the so called rocaille as a typical decoration element.
Finally, from 1750 until the end of Louis XV’s reign (he died in 1774) “The Second Style ” featured a reaction against the rocaille and its excesses. This period makes use of the burgeoning influence of neoclassicism, spurred by recent archeological discoveries in the Mediterranean. This preceded the neoclassical Louis XVI style to come.