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An exceptionally rare early 19th century bronze-mounted mahogany and ebony inlaid bookcase in the manner of Thomas Hope, the mounts attributed to Alexis Decaix, the breakfront central section surmounted by a moulded cornice above a pair of brass-grilled doors, each enclosing three adjustable shelves flanked by panelled pilasters centred by a finely patinated bronze figure of a winged classical maiden, and a further pair of doors with brass grilles enclosing three adjustable shelves and conforming pilasters similarly mounted, the breakfront base with grey marble top above a pair of panelled doors with roundels at each indented corner, with an ebony strung inner panel with pierced brass roundels in each corner centred by a bronze laurel-bound roundel framing an imperial eagle, enclosing a single shelf, flanked by pilasters centred by a stylized Ancient Greek bronze mask between inverted palmettes, with conforming single flanking doors and pilasters on a plinth base.

The formality of the design of this extraordinary bookcase is cleverly emphasised by the strict delineation of the rich mahogany façade into a series of panels rigidly centred by extremely fine bronze mounts in the Etruscan taste. It would seem that the immediate source of these beautifully patinated mounts is Thomas Hope’s enormously influential ‘Household Furniture and Interior Decoration,’ published in 1807.



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