From France, circa 1860, this ornate, stripped oak desk has been carved in the Renaissance style and inset with a contemporary bluestone top. The stone has a blue-grey hue with white veining and visible fossils.
The wood that encases the stone has stepped molding on the top rim, which sits above an apron adorned with thick gadrooning. The gadroon is also outlined by carved recessions of the same shape and topped with further recessed pentagons. The center of each side of the apron has an acanthus leaf medallion that is replicated at the corners.
The richly carved bracket-shaped legs (known as corbels) have winged putti faces and volute scrolls of acanthus leaves. The scrolls terminate in monopodial lion paws feet embellished with foliate elements. Attached on the outside of each bracket, a partition with two lion mascarons can be seen. The uppermost lion has been carved in mid-relief, while the lower mascaron is more recessed, in the bas-relief style. The H-shaped stretcher has a repeating motif of a niche with stylized shell interior. The ends of the stretcher are scrolled platform feet adorned with acanthus leaf rinceaux and shells.
As the Renaissance advanced from the Early to the High Renaissance in the late 15th/early 16th centuries, carvings became more ornate and used more frequently. The style was inspired by the Romans’ appreciation of nature, with acanthus leaves, scrolling foliage, putti and shells being used heavily. All these elements can be seen throughout the desk. During the late 1800s, this French Renaissance style experienced a revival, which was seen in new architecture as well as furnishings, such as this desk.
Each side of the desk has a large pull-out writing surface that when fully extended measures roughly 17×29 (inches). The user’s side also has two pull-out drawers that are 10 inches wide. This 19th century Renaissance-style desk would make a great statement in any office.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with minor nicks to the wood and scratches to the stone. Old wood worm damage to the legs. Traces of old finish to stripped wood. The bluestone top is not original.