Leon Marcotte Credenza
Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone and I have just learned that lesson very recently. I recently purchased the above pictured credenza at a small auction house in the country that usually doesn’t have items that would be considered high-end. Their auction house has allowed me to create the base for my many future years of “trade up” and allowed me to have furniture in my 1887 Victorian that would have otherwise taken many more years.
I spotted this credenza against the wall buried behind several layers of other furniture. Being the only ebonized piece in 60,000 sq feet of furniture will make a piece stick out. Also, I have been looking to buy a Neo-Grec or Aesthetic credenza someday and so I was immediately drawn to it. I knew however that I was not going to keep this one but rather resell it if I got it for an acceptable price, which I ultimately did.
It sold on Sunday on Ebay for about $1600 which was very satisfactory to me as I quickly tripled my money but I later had a long discussion with the buyer about his idea on who had made the piece. He had related to me that he is a rabid collector of Leon Marcotte pieces and was very certain that this was by Mr. Marcotte. There are several telltale signs from his perspective which mostly center on the incorporation of the letter “M” in the incised lines on the piece. I have captured the various “M’s” in the pictures below for your consideration. One contrary observation that caught both our attention was the blatant presence (more-so than the “M’s”) of the letter “H” – four of them on the front of the piece, which made us wonder if there could be a tie to Herter Brothers.
Anyway, I’m glad the piece is going to a happy home where it will get a new touch-up job on the incising and new french polish. If you want to read more about Marcotte, see here. If you want to see more pictures of my credenza, see here.