Fine Louis XV style ormolu mounted marquetry desk by Maison Léger

By Maison Léger (French, active late 19th Century)


Modelled after a piece for King Louis XV now in Versailles, this desk showcases the exceptional skills of Maison Léger, the award-winning French firm of cabinetmakers.


Questions about this piece?


This spectacular desk by Maison Léger is after one of the most celebrated pieces of 18th century French furniture – the King’s Desk (also known as ‘bureau du Roi’) crafted by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806) and Jean-François Oeben (1721–1763).

All sides of this exceptional desk are skilfully adorned. The front features a central drawer with a shaped ormolu escutcheon leading outwards to the sides of the desk. The design includes laurel leaves appearing as if twisting around the ormolu edging. The keyhole is flanked by two marquetry panels decorated with musical and military motifs. Two large lockable side drawers are decorated with further, larger marquetry designs with thematically and stylistically similar compositions. The reverse of the desk is decorated in an identical manner but with no keyholes and slightly differing marquetry compositions, the double-sided design being an addition often only seen in some of the best antique furniture.

Both sides of the desk feature large marquetry panels depicting maritime and landscape views. The skillful selection of wood types creates compositions with varying tones, and all marquetry panels are framed by a delicate banding further accentuating their beauty. Ormolu mounts in the shapes of foliage garlands, acanthus, and laurel leaves are placed in the middle of the compositions, the shining gold of the ormolu magnificently complementing the varying shades of brown.

The desktop is lined with golden-brown leather, similar in colour to the wood surrounding it. The leather is debossed and gilded around the edges as well as in the centre where a symmetrical composition filled with C and S scrolls has been added. A glass panel covers and protects the leather.

The four corners of the desk are applied with prominent ormolu hanging lion skins, while the legs terminate in ormolu, acanthus-shaped sabots.

The lock of the central drawer is inscribed 'Maison Léger / 28, Place des Vosges, Paris’.

Maison Léger (also known as Emile Léger & Cie) was a French firm of cabinetmakers. The company participated in numerous Universal Exhibitions where it received a silver medal in 1879 and 1889, this being a testament to the high quality pieces they have crafted.

This very impressive antique showcases a reinvented desk design heavily based on the piece crafted for Louis XV in the late 18th century. Its superb quality of finish as well as stylistic links to the decorative arts collection at Versailles makes this piece a very desirable addition to one’s collection.


Artist / Maker
By Maison Léger (French, active late 19th Century)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1880
Late 19th Century
Louis XV
Marquetry, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Wood
Brown, Gold


80 cm / 31.5 inches
185 cm / 72.8 inches
98 cm / 38.6 inches


Free International Shipping

This item qualifies for free international shipping, inclusive of professional packing and insurance.
Terms and conditions apply.