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French 18th century furniture, clocks, lighting, paintings, porcelain, sculpture and tapestries


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Regence carved linden console by BERNARD TORO
Superb Régence carved lime wood (tilleul) console by Jean-Bernard- Honoré Turreau, called Bernard Toro. The legs are fastened to the frieze by the very unusual means of iron bolts and wing nuts. The legs fit into the separate pedestal base with mortises and tenons. This would appear to be way Toro, a sculptor and not a furniture joiner, uniquely solved the problem of connecting the various components of a console.
Magnificently carved large dragons seem to chase the winged bearded mascarons at the top of the legs. An exquisitely carved mask of a grimacing Medusa centers the frieze. The base supports a pair of large eagles carved in the round. [Small damage to the nose of the bearded figure on the proper left. Tiny replacements. Top replaced.]

Toro was a designer as well as a sculptor. He published a great number of engravings that were very influential in the dissemination of the Régence and rococo styles. An engraving by Toro portrays a console with a nearly identical leg.  It was noted in the eighteenth century that his works were neither painted nor gilded in order to avoid obscuring the details of his exquisite carving.

Illustrated: La Gazette des Beaux Arts ; 12/1886
In an article by Leon Lagrange on Toro, this console is illustrated in an engraving on page 481. (As is usual, this reverses the composition and it is interesting to note that the damage to the nose of one of the bearded figures also appears on the engraving, but in the reversed position.)

Ex collection:
                Le Cabinet Clérian (J. Bernard Toro : An article by Dr. Pons in the Archives de l’Art Français ; Documents Inédits – Tome sixième, 1858-1860. Page 288. And Les Artistes Décorateurs du Bois ; Volume I, Page 177.)
                 Marquis de Tressemanes (Aix)
                 William and “Babe” Paley (New York)

                For a more complete description and analysis of this extraordinary piece, please go to Essays
Height (ins.): 32 (81.3cm)      Length/Width (ins.): 45 (114.3cm)      Depth (ins.): 24 (61cm)
Origin: France, 18th century     Period: Regence



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