In this sale devoted to the decorative arts, a mirror with brilliant ornaments illustrated the work of the cabinetmaker from southern France, and was accompanied by a pair of pistols by Devisme.
French Regency period, south of France, attributed to Bernard Toro (1672-1731). Large giltwood mirror with carved beads, h. 190 cm/74.8 in, l. 120 cm/47.2 in.
Born in Toulon, Bernard Turreau, aka Toro, was the sculptor most sought-after by Provençal aristocrats in the early 18th century. His quirky creations are particularly original, combining the French Regency style with a more Italianate Baroque imagination. Peopled by mythological figures and sometimes fabulous beasts, his furniture is rare on the art market, and is most often labeled "attributed to"—as with this impressive glazed mirror with beads in carved giltwood, framed with molding of beading featuring ovolos with flower centers, scrolls of foliage, blossoms and birds, with an arched pediment with a shell cartouche and swags. All this virtuosity deserved its fine result of €9,000.
Produced by a Paris workshop at the same period, a two-tiered cabinet with kingwood, rosewood, walnut and darkened wood veneering (166.5 x 86.5 x 47 cm/65.6 x 34 x 18.5 in) garnered €6,375. A century later, the Paris gunsmith Devisme made some of the most handsome pistols of the time, as witness a pair of cap and ball pistols with their case (44 x 26 x 8 cm/17.3 x 10.2 x 3.2 in). The guns are 40.5 cm/15.9 in. long, with octagonal barrels, with a caliber of around 12 mm/0.47 in., engraved with gold foliage marked "Devisme à Paris", with stocks in fluted ebony carved with foliage. Complete with all its accessories, this kit dating from the second half of the 19th century fetched €6,875.