Louis XV ormolu desk tops Bonhams furniture auction

An 18th century Louis XV ormolu-mounted desk topped Bonhams' Fine European Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art auction, which took place in London last night (December 13).

The black and gold desk, which brought £55,250 ($89,108), is reminiscent of the world record breaking desk previously owned by Madame Pompadour that sold at Christie's on December 6 for $5m.

Bonhams: 18th century desk auction
The desk, which was designed circa 1745 in the style of Jacques Dubois, was later embellished by Beurdeley

Although in aesthetic alignment, the desk in question differs from the world record breaking desk in several significant ways. While Madame Pompadour's desk can be verifiably attributed to esteemed furniture designer Bernard II Van Risen Burgh (BVRB), was offered from the notable Riahi collection and passed through the hands and homes of royalty; the desk which sold last night is merely "in the manner of Jacques Dubois", thus its dramatically slighter price tag.

The desk, which nevertheless sold solidly within its £50,000-£70,000 ($80,000-$110,000) pre-auction estimate, was created circa 1745 then further embellished by Beurdeley during the 19th century.

Other standout lots at the sale included a marble bust of Proserpine by Hiram Powers, which sold for £49,250 ($79,417), just within its £30,000-£50,000 ($48,000-$80,000) estimate, and an unusual pair of Venetian black marble busts, thought to be modelled on an African king and queen, which went for £46,850 ($75,557) - comfortably within their £40,000-60,000 ($64,000-$96,000) valuation.

Though perhaps not as breathtaking as the world record breaking Christie's sale on December 6, the strong results at Bonhams' sale add further weight to the idea that the top end of the furniture market. 

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