A Fine Regency Mahogany and Ebony-Inlaid Breakfront Bookcase

CIRCA 1810

Height: 98" Width: 103" Depth: 19"

Inventory Number 8278-184




The cavetto-molded cornice over a crossbanded frieze and geometrc astragal-glazed doors set between engaged reeded columns with stiff-leaf capitals and foliate-wrapped bases and opening to adjustable shelves; the lower part with paneled doors between conforming columns and enclosing shelves; raised on scroll-form feet on ebonised spherules.

Additional Information

Isadore-Jules BONHEUR came from a well-known family of painters, but carved out his own niche as a highly important animalier. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and focused on painting until 1848 when he exhibited the painting and plaster study Un cavalier africain attaqué par une lionne. His remarkable range of subjects include farm animals, equestrian groups, and even a group of the American wild west which was most likely inspired by visits to the travelling shows of Buffalo Bill Cody, with whom his sister Rosa was rumored to have had an affair. His work is characterized by its traditional style and superb technical competence.

Le Grand Jockey is an excellent example of Bonheur's work. Every detail is attended to, from the costume of the jockey and his riding accoutrements to the veining in the horse's legs. The reflection of the light on the well-detailed hair and skin accentuates the muscles and creates a dramatic sense of tension.

Most of his casts were made by the superior fondeur—and uncle by marriage—Hippolyte Peyrol. Boudet, whose foundry mark is found on Le Grand Jockey, bought the casting rights from Bonheur during his lifetime and produced an extremely rare and very well-received series of large-scale equestrian bronzes by Bonheur. Other monumental works include a life-size bronze stag in the collection of the Perigueux Museum, a memorial statue of his sister Rosa Bonheur at Fontainbleau, and the two stone lions which guard the front of the Palais de Justice in Paris. He exhibited until 1899, winning the gold medal in 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition and was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1895.