Charles Boulle restoration - A & D Kirilov Antique Restorers

A & D Kirilov Antique Restorers
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Restoration of Fine Antique Furniture,
String Musical Instruments and Objects of Art
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Charles Boulle restoration

Antique Boulle Furniture
The term ‘Boulle’ was taken from the surname of its most skilled artisan André Charles Boulle (1642–1732).
Boulle was a cabinetmaker, sculptor, and gilder to King Louis XIV of France, and from 1672 he was granted the royal privilege of living in the Palais du Louvre.
‘Boulle’ work refers to the practice of overlaying furniture with a thin layer or tortoiseshell that is inlaid with brass and pewter in opulent patterns and elaborate designs.
Boulle work, although requiring great skill and expense, became such a fashionable means of finishing furniture that its use continued through to the 18th and 19th centuries. Whilst Boulle’s original work resides in the most important international collections and museums you can still find pieces of Boulle work by later cabinet-makers which are often of similar quality (especially as so many copied Boulle’s technique and style).

Restoration of Boulle Furniture
The restoration of Boulle-styled work is intricate, complex, and time-consuming - involving skill, technical ability, knowledge, and a deep understanding of the materials of construction and specifics of this marquetry inlay.
Due to the nature of the combination of different materials with a specific ability to shrink and expand caused by temperature, humidity, and age, we often find the pieces in desperate need of in-depth restoration. Lifted and lost brass and pewter inlay, damaged and discoloured tortoiseshell, loose joinery and warped base to name a few.
We begin with the stabilization and preservation of the existing inlay to protect the original work of the craftsmen. We follow with repair of the structure and removal of all the ormolu decorative elements. Only then the restoration of lifted, damaged and missing marquetry begins. Cutting by hand with a jewellers saw the perfectly copied patterns, fitting and gluing them in their original place is work of patience, great technique and respect to the piece.
Once all is in place, perfectly level and complete the whole piece is gently buffed and sealed with protective finish to prevent future oxidisation and to protect the inlay from the elements. The ormolu decorations are cleaned, sealed and mounted in place. The final result is identical to the original, protecting the historical. artistic and intrinsic value of the pieces. The restoration process and finished result brings us a great sense of achievement and pride of a job well done.

Napoleon III French Boulle Cabinet
Fine antique mid-19th century French Boulle salon cabinet, with shaped black top, over a two-door base, canted sides mounted with ormolu caryatid mounts, with shaped central door panels, all over ormolu mounts and trim. Fine pierced brass, pewter, and tortoiseshell inlay.

A Napoleon III ebonised and Gilt-Mounted 'Boulle' break-front front cabinet circa 1870s
The ebonised top with a recessed and continuous gilt-ormolu moulded edge, above decorative inlaid boulle friezes, and the centre with a brass and scarlet tortoiseshell inlaid oval cartouche fitted with a bronze medallion depicting angels. half-columns with classical ormolu masks.
Charles Boulle Ebony, Tortoiseshell and Brass Inlay Bureau Plat
A fine Régence style Bureau plat in the Manner of André-Charles Boulle, inlaid all over with intricate brass embellishments on a red tortoiseshell ground and having ornate gilt metal mounts. The rectangular top with an engraved brass border surrounding the embossed inset leather. Above a swept frieze fitted with three drawers on one side and corresponding faux drawers on the other. Raised up on four slender tapering cabriole legs with head mounts terminating in sabots
French Boulle Serpentine Front Games Table
Circa 1870, French Serpentine fronted boulle fold-over games table. Covered in red tortoiseshell and engraved brass inlay with foliate and geometric designs centred by a charioteer. It has a hinged top opening to a baize-lined interior. Beneath this is a boulle panelled frieze on all sides, so it is a freestanding table, and there are ormolu figurehead mounts. It has a shaped apron and stands on cabriole legs with ormolu mounts and sabots.

French 19th Century Napoleon III Period Boulle Cabinet Vitrine
A striking and most impressive French 19th century Napoleon III period Ebony, Tortoiseshell, brass, ormolu Boulle cabinet vitrine.Raised by an elegant scalloped Ebony base with beautiful scrolled foliate mounts and a richly chased central mask of Bacchus. Striking columns lead up each side with intricately detailed inlaid brass foliate designs set on an outstanding Tortoiseshell background and superb scrolled foliate ormolu mounts. At the center is a single door retaining its original glass pane framed within a remarkable wrap-around foliate ormolu band and additional wonderfully executed inlaid brass foliate designs set on a Tortoiseshell background and displaying a single keyhole escutcheon.
Fine Antique Boulle Credenza Side Cabinet
A spectacular and fine quality Victorian Louis XVI style ormolu mounted red Boulle credenza of serpentine and bow-fronted form. The beautifully inlaid centre door having a raised oval panel with serpentine-shaped and glazed end doors. The whole is adorned with wonderful ormolu mounts and raised on a shaped plinth base with further brass inlay. With a red velvet interior.
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