18th century French furniture, Amin Jaffer, Bernard II van Risen Burgh, BVRB, Christie's, Djahanguir Riahi, Dukes of Richmond, East Asia, human artistic achievement, Japanese lacquer, Madame de Pompadour, Monsieur and Madame Riahi, Royal Collection, secrétaire en armoire, Windsor
A Louis XV Ormolu-Mounted Japanese Lacquer and Vernis Martin Secrétaire à Abattant
By Bernard II van Risen Burgh
Estimated price: £3-5 million
Price realised: £3,177,250
Djahanguir Riahi started collecting 18th century French furniture and decorative arts over half a century ago, believing that they represented the summit of human artistic achievement: a balance and perfection in design, materials and execution. Comprising exceptionally rare pieces, his collection has been formed with love, passion and the discerning eye of a connoisseur.
This magnificent secrétaire en armoire is a masterpiece by court cabinet-maker Bernard II van Risen Burgh, known as BVRB. It incorporates panels of precious Japanese lacquer and represents the European taste of re-fashioning luxury materials from East Asia into contemporary furniture forms. Exemplifying exceptional provenance, it is believed to have been part of the collection of Madame de Pompadour, entering the collection of the Dukes of Richmond in 1765 where it remained until 1993; it was then acquired by Monsieur and Madame Riahi. The only comparable secrétaire is in the Royal Collection, in the Queen’s private apartments at Windsor.
First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 9, 2012.