French ormolu-mounted ebony, chinese coromandel lacquer and oyster-venered and faux-grained armoire, stamped twice Jansen and '5005', early 20th century, the Coromandel panels 18th/early 19th century
Of Louis XVI style, fitted with two doors inset with Chinese coromandel lacquer panels, flanked by fluted uprights, with a portor marble top, the locks also stamped '5005', on a later plinth - 72 in. (183 cm.) high, 67 in. (170 cm.) wide, 22 in. (56 cm.) deep - Estimate : 40,000 - $60,000
Notes : The superb cabinet-work of this majestic armoire, with lustrous panels of Chinese coromandel lacquer framed by imposing fluted pilasters, indicates that it was probably made in the early years of the 20th Century, when Jansen's atelier closely followed the techniques of the ancien régime (see J. Abbott, Jansen Furniture, New York, 2007, pp. 235-6 for a discussion of case pieces by Jansen in this period).
Its spirited use of lacquer recalls the innovative combinations of exotic materials employed by the marchands merciers of 18th Century Paris, a particularly appropriate analogy as Maison Jansen undoubtedly saw itself as performing the role of a 20th Century marchand mercier.
The rigorous architectural form of the armoire recalls the sober à l'antique style of the 1760's known as the goût grec. Pieces featuring similar fluted pilasters were produced by innovative cabinet-makers such as Pierre Garnier and Philippe-Claude Montigny (see A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, p. 249, fig. 257, and p. 308, fig. 347).
Christie's. European Furniture, Works of Art, and Tapestriesincluding Jansen: the past reimagined. 7 October 2008. New York, Rockefeller Plaza - www.christies.com