Splendid Empire box with bronze decoration by F. D. Detler

 16.000,00

This very fine and rare sewing and writing box richly decorated from the early 19th century offer a magnificent representation of the Austrian Empire Style. This magnificent box was undoubtedly created for a significant patron who knew how to appreciate the classical evocation to ancient history.

1 in stock

SKU: A6058 Category:

Overall gilded bronze decorations

The several embossed gilded bronze decorations present scenes of classical Greek-Roman formation where it is possible to recognize Bacchus, Ariadne, the Muses and the three Graces on the two main lateral friezes while on the front and side capitals we find the bust of Aristotle.
Inside the front tympanum, the effigy of Hermes on a branch intertwined with acorns, a symbol of power, of good luck, prosperity, youth and spiritual growth, the latter element is shown on the front and the side interspersed with ram heads, animal celebrated in the cycle of the Argonauts.

We find an intertwining of leaves and bunches of grapes on the mirror’s perimeter, a decorative motif attributed to Bacchus, which has an allegorical contribution connected to happiness and friendship; in the sacred writings, the plant and its fruit are also frequently cited.

Writing or sewing

Our fascinating Viennese box has a dual function, one for writing and the other for sewing; it hides five secret drawers, two separate compartments specific for the sewing spools, one for a pin holder, a container for pens, two in the upper corners for ink, and talc, three central compartments in turn divided.

We find an intertwining of leaves and bunches of grapes on the mirror’s perimeter, a decorative motif attributed to Bacchus, which has an allegorical contribution connected to happiness and friendship; in the sacred writings, the plant and its fruit are also frequently cited.
On the top cover of the box, there is a fine painting showing several fruits and also a butterfly and bee. The butterfly is connected to the struggle between good and evil, while the bee refers to laboriousness and chastity. The workmanship and the precision of the cabinet making are masterful, is made by different wood essences, including mahogany, walnut, olive wood, birch, and pearwood. The box rests on four feral feet in chiselled and gilded bronze.

The historical scene of our Austrian Empire box

The atmosphere of the Viennese court influenced the inspiration of the artists of the time, including the most significant cabinet makers. The wake of the fashion for classical antiquity was aroused by the great archaeological discoveries of Winckelmann (see note), which helped to create works of art of exceptional value and quality which drew on the styles of the classical past.
The cabinetmakers of the time, following the echo of these discoveries, decorated their works with motifs derived from symbols and architectural elements that refer to the past, such as the gilded-bronze embossed friezes that adorn our Empire box conceived by the famous bronzist and medals maker Franz Detler (Vienna 1785 – 1835), known internationally for the creation of medals portraits of the participants in the Congress of Vienna (please, see image below).
The Austrian Empire was established in 1804, following the formation of the first French Empire by Napoleon Bonaparte. The atmosphere of the Viennese court, which anticipates the myth of “Austria Felix”, influenced the patrician residences, art and the cabinetmakers, whose works combine in a unique and original whole between a mixture of pretentious and royalty compared to the austere and pompous one of the French Empire styles.
The Austrian Empire style reached its maximum splendour also in Central Europe; these types of furniture were also trendy in the regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia. The furniture of the Austrian Empire period was almost reserved for a very exclusive sphere of customers of noble rank. Our beautiful Viennese Empire box from this time period is in excellent condition with very few signs of wear. The quality of this work is magnificent, as are the details. A very refined object that deserves to be included in a prestigious collection.

congress of vienna

Bronze artist and medallist Franz D. Detler

The gilded-bronze embossed friezes that adorn our Empire box were made by the famous bronze artist and medallist Franz D. Detler (Vienna 1785 – 1835) who made numerous commemorative medals, as for example, for the liberation of Pope Pius VII, for the restoration of the Kingdom of Naples in 1815, and for the return of Emperor Francis I to Vienna in 1816, he portrayed a large number of princes at the time of the Congress of Vienna. His decorative bronzes were used by important cabinet and clock makers of the time in Austria.

Note: Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717 – 1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art.

Dimensions 36,5 × 30 × 19 cm
Artist

Franz D. Detler

Country

Austria

Period

19th Century

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