An excellent quality 19th century Louis XV style bonheur du jour or writing desk by top Paris maker Paul Sormani. The case is veneered in exotic thulya wood with contrasting banding in mahogany and rosewood, and accented with ormolu mounts and a pierced gallery to the top. The spring-loaded fold-open writing surface and upper drawers are locked until the key is turned which releases a catch and they ‘pop’ open. Nicely-fitted interior with four smaller drawers; single drawer beneath the writing surface.
Paul Sormani (1817 – 1877) was a preeminent 19th Century Italian cabinetmaker (ébéniste) of Lombard-Venetian origin. Sormani moved to Paris and established his workshop there in 1847 and soon began producing high quality items of standard and ‘fantasy’ furniture, which he described as meubles de luxe (‘luxury furniture’). He specialised in reproducing Louis XV and XVI style pieces, which proved immensely popular with discerning European aristocracy. The Empress Eugenie, for example, who was wife of Emperor Napoleon III, chose to decorate her palaces with Sormani’s beautiful furniture.
Sormani frequently exhibited his impressive creations and was awarded prizes at all the major international exhibitions of the 1860s and 1870s. Notably, at the Parisian Exposition Universelle in 1867, judges described Sormani’s work as revealing “a quality of execution of the first order”.
Dimensions: 34″wide by 23″deep by 42″tall