Louis XV Parcel-Gilt And Cream-Painted Panelled Room


A Louis XV Parcel-Gilt And Cream-Painted Panelled Room, CIRCA 1730


- six pairs of double doors, each carved to the fronts with moulded panels enclosing foliate shells and scrolling acanthus leaves, the reverses with geometric panelling, each surmounted by a rectangular overdoor panel carved with fully-modelled birds amid flowers and foliage on a diaper ground and centred by a plaster medallion modelled in relief with scenes of frolicking putti;

- four arched mirror surrounds, each carved with water foliage and decorated with scrolls and shells;

- two moulded architraves for windows;

- sixteen panels of varying width, of which eight carved with moulded frames enclosing leafy scrolls, flowers, and C-scrolls and eight panels with oval medallions depicting various wildlife scenes carved with fully-modelled birds and various other animals, within moulded frames decorated with scrolls and flowers,partially redecorated, some elements probably originally un-decorated, the plaster roundels within the overdoor panels of a later date, some reverses of doors lacking moulded panelling or redecorated, two mirrors lacking plates, one mirror with replaced plate, without hinges and handles

The origin of early 18th-century Parisian room is still to be traced, however, its structure and motifs are closely related to several documented rooms, some of which are preserved in their original building. Its scale and proportion as well as the fret designs are indeed similar to those of the Grand Salon on the first floor of the hôtel de Bourvallais, which now houses the Ministry of Justice. It is also quite close in inspiration to the white and gold-painted panelling from the former bedroom of the hôtel de Cressart, dated 1725, now installed in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu (illustrated in Bruno Pons, French Period Rooms, 1650-1800, Dijon, 1995, p. 210-20). Finally, the mirror frames with their prominent fronds and intertwined foliage are also to be found in the salle de companie in the hôtel de Soyecourt.

Panelled rooms that have been removed from their original setting have invariably been changed and adapted for each of their new settings. This boiserie is no exception, having spent at least part of its life in a US collection. Differences in the treatment of the carving between individual panels and elements suggest that the boiserie incorporates elements from at least two rooms, both 18th and 19th century as well as 19th century additions. It is now unified by the present white and gold decoration. Interestingly the carving visible in some areas beneath the gesso suggests at least some of the panels may have originally been un-decorated. 

(Source: christies.com)