Egyptian King Farouk Empire Bedroom Suite,
This extraordinary mahogany and mercury-gilded bronze bedroom suite was once owned by the last Egyptian monarch, King Farouk. Luxuriously decorated in the Empire style, this important set was crafted by one of the premier Parisian ébénistes of the 19th century, Antoine Krieger (fl. 1826-1856). The seven piece suite comprises a queen-size bed, secrétaire à abattant (drop-front secretary) with a satinwood interior, cheval mirror with side tables, two-door cabinet, vanity and two nightstands. The abattant, tables of the cheval mirror, cabinet and nightstands are all fitted with beautiful green marble tops.
Each piece is phenomenal and was crafted with extraordinary expertise. Most notably are the superior bronze mounts. Inspired by the style created to glorify the Emperor Napoleon, the decorative Empire elements radiate royalty, power and elegance. Bronze legs of winged creatures support the vanity and nightstand while the secretary and cabinet rest on large, bronze paw feet. Urns, swags, and a variety of mythological creatures were all cast and gilded to the finest degree.
Antoine Krieger took his inspiration for this set from the furnishings of Malmaison, one of Napoleon and Josephine's Parisian palaces. A similar bedroom suite was acquired by circus magnate John Ringling to adorn his bedroom at Ca d'Zan, now part of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.