Venetian Red Chinoiserie Japanned Bureau Bookcase, having a stepped and molded cornice above a pair of arched glazed doors with candle slides below, the doors opening to reveal an arrangement of compartments with shelves and serpentine drawers, the slant front concealing a finely fitted interior with serpentine drawers and cubby holes and a pull up panel revealing four hidden drawers with a further hidden drawer with hidden compartments, the base with two short and two long drawers, on molded plinth base with five turned ball feet, with overall gilt and polychrome chinoiserie decorated with flora, fauna and figures in landscapes. Provenance: Private Spanish Collection, Private Collection, USA.
Sandracca is a resin extracted from Tetraclinis articulata, a tree of the family of Cupressaceae native to North Africa . It was used in Italy in the 18th century for the preparation of paints and lacquers. Sandracca was often used in conjuntion with raw amber and had far better protective qualities than the preparations used in most English and European japanning. As a result, and through careful handling throughout its long life, this piece retains virtually all of the original decoration.