Neoclassical Secretaire with Drop Front, Switzerland 1810-20
Exquisite Neoclassical secretaire with beautiful cherry veneer. Nine small drawers and a central compartment structure the inside of this piece. A mirror and a checkered floor are the special features of the small central compartment. The ebonized details contrast with the warm honey color of the cherry veneer and emphasize the elegant character of this drop front desk.
The Neoclassical style, based on straight lines and rectilinear forms and using a selection of Classical ornaments, was first applied to French furniture during the 1760s. Classical motifs at first were sparingly applied to furniture of unchanged form. Slowly the curved line of Rococo was replaced by a simpler and more severe rectilinear design.
In France the Neoclassical style blossomed during the second phase of the reign of Louis XVI. In the Germanic countries the style was called “Zopfstil”. The design of furniture makers which worked for the French king influences this style. The most famous ones actually came from Germany, for example Jean-Henri Riesener.
At the beginning of the 19th century the Biedermeier style evolved in Austria and Germany, and it had a big influence on Italian and Swiss designers.
In Switzerland, though, the ebeniste often kept some of the features of the Louis XVI style. They sometimes also added the new design vocabulary of the Biedermeier style. The love for detail, which can be found in the interiors of Biedermeier drop front desks for example, had definitely an impact on the interior of this neoclassical secretaire.
Details of this piece
The secretaire is in excellent, refinished condition. It measures H 56.3 in. x W 35.44 in. x D 17.72 inches (H 143 cm x W 90 cm x D 45 cm). The brass fittings are original.
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