French Furniture Soars in Tarheel Country

A Restauration ormolu-mounted marble-top inlaid bibliothèque basse(low cabinet) by Pierre-Étienne Levasseur or his son Pierre-François Henri Levasseur, circa 1820, stamped “E. Levasseur,” soared to $224,200 (includes buyer’s premium) at Leland Little’s March 3 sale in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

The bibliothèque basse was from a private North Carolina collection and had been purchased by the collector in the mid-20th century.

A matching cabinet—but with the pietre dure parrot facing the opposite direction—was sold by Christie’s on October 24, 2013, for $269,000.

The sale brought in approximately $2.25 million. Other significant lots included a Georgian display case with a model of York Minster Cathedral, the second-largest Gothic cathedral of northern Europe, which brought $17,110. Farm Pond—Snow Ending, an acrylic on canvas by Maud Gatewood (1934-2004), sold for $37,760, an auction record for the artist. It was from Jonathan P. Alcott’s collection of North Carolina art, which was exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of History in 2016. An 18k white gold and diamond ring by Jewelsmith brought $47,200; a Symphonion Eroica three-disc music box, $28,320; Il Redentore, Venice, an oil on mahogany panel by Martin Rico y Ortega (1833-1908), $16,520; Easter Sunday, Lincolnville, St. Augustine, Florida, an oil on canvas by Anthony Thieme (1888-1954), $23,600; and an Aubusson tapestry depicting “The Triumph of Alexander,” after Charles Le Brun, $27,140.

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Bibliothèque basse (low cabinet) by Pierre-Étienne Levasseur or his son Pierre-François Henri Levasseur, circa 1820, 40" x 57" x 19", stamped “E. Levasseur,” with a stepped portor marble top, a fern and rosette cast frieze, and a central hinged door with a pietre dure panel featuring a bird on a branch. The center door surround and flanking doors have tortoiseshell and brass boulle, and the paneled sides feature central cast Hercules masks. It sold for $224,200.

Originally published in the April 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2018 Maine Antique Digest

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