Speak with an expert today
+44 20 8809 9605

Antique French Empire Ormolu Mounted Desk & Chair C1880

Antique French Empire Ormolu Mounted Desk & Chair C1880 Sold

For weekly notifications of new arrivals in your categories of interest please click HERE.

This item has been sold but we have thousands of items in our warehouse that are not online.

Email us to enquire about similar items that may not be online or call our experts on 020 8809 9605.

Be the first to hear when new items are added to our site!

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

We are very pleased to be able to offer this Antique French Empire Ormolu Mounted Desk and Chair for sale.

Dating from around 1880, this French Empire Desk and Chair is fashioned in flame mahogany with ormolu mounts.

With elegant proportions the desk has an inset olive green leather rectangular writing surface that features gold tooling.

The central frieze has a larger drawer and is flanked by two shorter drawers on each side.

There are ‘dummy’ drawers mirrored on the opposite side, meaning this desk can be self standing in the middle of a room as well as pushed up against a wall with no loss of function. The desk stands on beautiful elegant square tapered legs with ormolu paw feet.

The Armchair

This has a lovely “U” shaped back with a decorative lyre, a cream leather seat and is raised on tapering legs.

Both items have typical Empire style ormolu mounts, which include rosette and palmette mounts and swan escutcheons which when teamed with the gorgeous flame mahogany and cream leather makes for as stunningly stylish and elegant duo.

French Empire Period

The period from May 1804 to June 1815 is known as the Empire period and is when Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France as Emperor. Napoleon, having gained his position through military and political achievements was keen to establish and legitimise his regime, and so used architects, designers and artists to produce distinctive and stunning buildings and works of art.

As could be expected the period was characterised by militaristic elements using symbols of war and victory and imperial elements such as the golden eagle, laurel wreaths and classical palm leaves, all harking back to the ancient glory days of the Roman Empire and its emperors.

Napoleon’s successful Egyptian campaign created a craze for Egyptian styling in France and decoration took on sphinxes, winged lions and creatures with the heads of eagles. These motifs were used as table legs and armrests on chairs. Marquetry and ormolu were used to ornament broad austere surfaces usually made in exotic woods such as mahogany.


These two pieces have been beautifully restored in our workshops. Please see the photos to see the current condition for yourself.

More Information and To View

You are very welcome to email us or call us using the contact details shown above with any questions you might have about this French Empire desk. We would also be delighted to arrange a viewing of this antique French desk at our North London warehouse, just email or call for an appointment quoting our reference as shown above so we know which item you are referring to.

The showroom is open from 10am to 5pm every weekday and on occasional Saturdays - please call first before making a journey on a Saturday.

Shipping, Delivery and Return

This is a very nice French Empire desk and as such it requires careful packing and shipping. We can ship to any destination worldwide and will take care of the packing for you, but please do call or email for a quotation before purchasing the item so that we can fully discuss your requirements. We ship to any mainland UK address free of charge.

If you are not satisfied with the item we offer a 14-day money back guarantee in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations. You will be responsible for the return shipping fees for this French Empire desk, unless we have erroneously described the item in some material way and you do not receive what you were expecting. You must return the item in its original packaging and condition.

You are also responsible for any customs duties or local taxes that fall due outside the European Union.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 77 x Width 150 x Depth 79 - Desk

Height 32 x Width 60 x Depth 54 - Kneehole

Height 68 x Width 61 x Depth 54 - Chair

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 6 inches x Width 4 feet, 11 inches x Depth 2 feet, 7 inches - Desk

Height 1 foot, 1 inch x Width 2 feet x Depth 1 foot, 9 inches - Kneehole

Height 2 feet, 3 inches x Width 2 feet, 0 inches x Depth 1 foot, 9 inches - Chair

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).


is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: 07966