Style In Furniture

illustrated in this chapter will fully justify my assertion to the effect that the reign of the straight line had terminated for a time and had been supplanted by that of the curvilinear; and an examination of the pieces in detail will bear out many more of my contentions put forward in this and the preceding chapter. The most important example perhaps of all those presented is the writing-table, indicated in Fig. 3, Plate I., which is known and treasured in the Louvre as " Le Bureau du Roi," and was designed and made for Louis the Fifteenth by Boulle's pupil Oeben, in collaboration with his own favourite apprentice Riesener. (Riesener, in after years, married his master's widow, succeeded to the business, and became very wealthy; though he, again, like Boulle, died practically in a state of penury.) The form of this piece, although free in comparison with those of earlier times, exhibits that comparative restraint which characterised the earlier " Louis-Quinze," and the grace which it undeniably possesses is not unmixed with dignity. Regarded from the technical standpoint, as a piece of cabinet work it is as near perfection as possible, while the ormolu mounts are simply superb. As we are considering this " Louis-Quinze " furniture more particularly with a view of ascertaining how far • the English designers and craftsmen of the eighteenth century were indebted to it for inspiration, I may point out here that the "cylinder top" was not generally employed in this country in articles of this kind until the time of Heppel-white and Sheraton, and it is not unreasonable to surmise that they borrowed that idea, as they did many others, from this style. In the table, Fig. 1, Plate I., we have a model similar in feeling, but rather more free in character than ilLe Bureau du Roi," and closely resembling one illustrated in the preceding chapter. This study furnishes a capital demonstration of the employment of the coquettish female head, a feature already referred to; also of the prominence given to the bust. The whole, indeed, is suggestive of the " certain

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