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Classicized marble urn on a marble square stand, the urn decorated with a fine carved floral design


(19th century)

Classicized marble urn on a marble square stand, the urn decorated with a fine carved floral design

(19th century)

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Marble

H. 81,50 cm, Diam. urn 38 cm



Classicized bronze amphora shaped decorated with the Greek anthemion ornament and a medallion with a male portret; floral designs for the two handles

Classicized bronze amphora shaped decorated with the Greek anthemion ornament and a medallion with a male portret; floral designs for the two handles

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Patinated bronze

Not signed

H. 100 cm



Table decoration – Fiedler challenge trophy


(German, 1910)

Table decoration – Fiedler challenge trophy

(German, 1910)

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This table decoration is a Fiedler challenge trophy in cast zinc with two cut glass inserts. The centre part is decorated with two sculpted lion heads and surmounted by a striding panther.

The centre part carries the inscription:

Wander - Preis

Gau II A

THÜRINGEN

GEWIDMET

v W FIEDLER, EISENACH

27 · 2 · 1910

errungen von Alexander Herhold

(Challenge Trophy Gau II A Thuringia dedicated to W Fiedler, Eisenach 27.2.1910 won by Alexander Herhold)

 

Gau IIA refers to the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club Gau IIa Thüringen.

H. 40 cm, W. 72 cm, D. 30 cm



Pair of neoclassical dark patinated bronze tazzas on Giallo di Siena marble ormolu decorated stands, the circular bowls flanked by two griffins


(French, 19th century)

Pair of neoclassical dark patinated bronze tazzas on Giallo di Siena marble ormolu decorated stands, the circular bowls flanked by two griffins

(French, 19th century)

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Dark patinated and ormulu bronze, Giallo di Siena marble

Total H. 37 cm; Base: W. 15, 50 cm, D. 15,50 cm



Gondola shaped office chair with armrests ending in lion heads


(French, Empire period)

Gondola shaped office chair with armrests ending in lion heads

(French, Empire period)

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Mahogany gondola shaped office chair with upholstery in black leather lined with a spiked border. The armrests are ending in a carved lion’s head.

 

Mahogany, black leather upholstery (new), spikes

H. 85 cm back; Seat H. 46 cm, W. 58 cm, D. 50 cm



Art Deco modernist club chair


(French, 1930s)

Art Deco modernist club chair

(French, 1930s)

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Resting armchair with a trapezoidal backrest, featuring a visible structure in chromed metal forming the front mounts and the base. Dark brown leather upholstery

H. back rest 75 cm; H. seat 38 cm, W. 62 cm, D. 76 cm

 



Monumental side table with monopodia


(English, second quarter of the 19th century)

Monumental side table with monopodia

(English, second quarter of the 19th century)

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Patricia Vert marble breakfront top supported by four monumental lion monopodia. In the back two pilasters and a mirror.

 

Mahogany and Patricia Vert marble

H. 100 cm, W. 290 cm, D. 95 cm



Gueridon with tripod support ending on bronze paw feet and palmets on castors


(Beginning of the 19th century)

Gueridon with tripod support ending on bronze paw feet and palmets on castors

(Beginning of the 19th century)

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Empire period

France

Burl wood and amaranth, marble, bronze

H. 75 cm, Diam. 97 cm

 



Side table

Alfred Chambon
(Belgian, Brussels 1884 – Brussels 1973)

Side table
Alfred Chambon
(Belgian, Brussels 1884 – Brussels 1973)

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The Chambon company started in the 19th century with Alban Chambon (1847-1928), an in Paris born multi-talented artist. Trained as a drawer and sculptor, he began his career as a journeyman decorator in Paris, but moved in 1868 to Brussels at the age of twenty. He acquired name and fame in Europe as as a creator of Oriental-style theatre. In Belgium he enjoyed the reputation as the architect of Leopold II and some major figures of industry and finance. He was appreciated for various projects such as the Kursaal d’Ostende – called le palais des mille et une nuits (the palace of the Arabian nights) –, the banqueting rooms of the Hotel Métropole – a mirror of society – , the Caisse d'Epargne and La Bourse in Brussels. The in 1880 founded Ateliers Chambon, located in Alban’s own house in the rue de Livourne in Brussels, were so successful that in no time they had to be expanded. The Ateliers Chambon had various specialised studios for making of cabinets, decoration, chiselling, etcetera. His three sons Gaston (born in 1884), Fernand (born in 1876) and Alfred (born in 1884) were all involved with furniture design and manufacture, but Alfred was the only one to show at the Exposition universelle (Universal Exhibition) held in Paris in 1925. He was known as the most innovative force in the family, producing his high quality modern designs through the company he founded in 1925 with his father Alban, Anciens Etablissements Alban Chambon.

 

The wooden top and support are discretely decorated with bronze; supports ending in bronze feet.

Diam. top 55,50 cm

Source: Exhibition catalogue Art Deco Belgique 1920-1940, Musée Ixelles from 06.10 until 18.12.1988, p. 186-188.



Set of tree Art Deco nesting tables

Alfred Chambon
(Belgian, 1884-1973)

Set of tree Art Deco nesting tables
Alfred Chambon
(Belgian, 1884-1973)

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The Chambon company started in the 19th century with Alban Chambon (1847-1928), an in Paris born multi-talented artist. Trained as a drawer and sculptor, he began his career as a journeyman decorator in Paris, but moved in 1868 to Brussels at the age of twenty. He acquired name and fame in Europe as as a creator of Oriental-style theatre. In Belgium he enjoyed the reputation as the architect of Leopold II and some major figures of industry and finance. He was appreciated for various projects such as the Kursaal d’Ostende – called le palais des mille et une nuits (the palace of the Arabian nights) –, the banqueting rooms of the Hotel Métropole – a mirror of society – , the Caisse d'Epargne and La Bourse in Brussels. The in 1880 founded Ateliers Chambon, located in Alban’s own house in the rue de Livourne in Brussels, were so successful that in no time they had to be expanded. The Ateliers Chambon had various specialised studios for making of cabinets, decoration, chiselling, etcetera. His three sons Gaston (born in 1884), Fernand (born in 1876) and Alfred (born in 1884) were all involved with furniture design and manufacture, but Alfred was the only one to show at the Exposition universelle (Universal Exhibition) held in Paris in 1925. He was known as the most innovative force in the family, producing his high quality modern designs through the company he founded in 1925 with his father Alban, Anciens Etablissements Alban Chambon.

 

Ca. 1924

Executed in partly thuya burl veneer and patinated bronze

H. 63 cm, W. 57 cm, D. 45,50 cm
H. 59 cm, W. 45 cm, D. 40 cm
H. 56 cm, W. 34 cm, D. 33,50 cm

 

Source: Exhibition catalogue Art Deco Belgique 1920-1940, Musée Ixelles from 06.10 until 18.12.1988, p. 186-188.

 



Pair of William IV bergères of spoonback form on fluted tapering legs with ceramic castors


(English, second quarter of the 19th century)

Pair of William IV bergères of spoonback form on fluted tapering legs with ceramic castors

(English, second quarter of the 19th century)

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Rosewood, walnut, red leather

H. back 95 cm, H. seat 47 cm, W. 58 cm, D. 50 cm



1950s Desk

1950s Desk

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1950s

Burrl elm and chromed metal

Not signed

H. 76 cm, W. 180 cm, D. 85 cm



Caesar library table

Axel Einar Hjorth
(Swedish, Krokek 1888 – Stockholm 1959)

Caesar library table
Axel Einar Hjorth
(Swedish, Krokek 1888 – Stockholm 1959)

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Swedish architect and furniture designer Axel Einar Hjorth was greatly inspired by the French Art Deco movement. He often used fine and expensive materials to craft furnishings, such as tables, cabinets, chairs, and sofas in various kinds of wood such as oak, birch, and rosewood. His designs are characterized by the use of classical themes, a design ethos later adopted by a younger generation of architects and designers and absorbed into aspects of Modernism in Sweden. Creating designs for a variety of Swedish furniture manufacturers, including the Stockholm department store Nordiska Kompaniet, Hjorth contributed to the burgeoning Swedish design culture and the international recognition it began to receive in the 1920s.

Axel Einar Hjorth was born in 1888 in Krokek outside Norrköping. He spent his first years alone with his mother Clara Mathilda Hjort (without h) in very modest circumstances. At the age of twelve his life changed dramatically: he was placed as a foster-child with a wealthy family. In 1908, 20 years old, he moved to Stockholm where he started studying at the Högre Konstindustriella Skolan which became later on the Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design). When his stepfather Gustav Theodore Nordin died in 1910, he was left without any heritage, and therefore forced to break off his studies.

In 1914 Axel Einar Hjorth married Gunelia Wessberg. Their marriage remained childless but opened a second time the doors to the bourgeoisie. Around 1920 he worked as a furniture designer with different manufacturers – such as H. Joop & co, Myrstedt & Stern and Jonssons – and in 1920, for a short period at the furniture design office of Nordiska Kompaniet under the architect Carl Bergsten (1879-1935). At about the same time, he started working with Stockholms stads hantverksförening, a collaboration running simultaneously with other commissions and employments right up to 1929.

For just over a year Hjorth worked as the head of the assembly section of Jubileumsutställningen (the Jubilee Exhibition) in Gothenburg in 1923. The English critic Philip Morton Shand (1888-1960) has characterized this exhibition as the beginning of the breakthrough of Swedish decorative arts: "The Gothenburg Exhibition of 1923 revealed [...] that [Sweden was] almost the only one that really counted as far as design and craftsmanship were concerned." As the head of the mounting section, Hjorth combined the products of the exhibitors with the overall valid aesthetic idea of the exhibition's management. The display of goods at the Gothenburg exhibition was consequently mainly his work. At this exhibition he also displayed furniture he had created himself and that was made by, among others, Svenska Möbelfabrikerna in Bodafors which became one of his major customers. They produced some of his models right up to the 1940s.

In 1925 Axel Einar Hjorth and David Nilsson coordinated Stockholms stads hantverksförenings jubileumsutställning at Liljevalchs konsthall (art gallery). As the architect of the exhibition as well as the creator of four different interior schemes, Hjorth was not able to participate in the Paris exhibition that year – nor was Stockholms stads hantverksförening. However, together with Carl Hörvik (1882-1954) and Carl Malmsten (1888-1972), he represented Stockholms stads hantverksförening at the exhibition of contemporary Swedish Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1927 thanks to Sweden's successful participation at the Paris exhibition in 1925 which had great commercial importance for Swedish decorative arts in America. It’s clear that he contributed to a large extent to the international breakthrough of Swedish design. His professional activity coincides with a period characterized by changes and improvements in Swedish society as a whole and particularly in Swedish industrial art. His furniture had aesthetic expressions that were well in accordance with their time but simultaneously very distant from the socially oriented ideas characterizing the activities of Svenska Slöjdföreningen. Consequently critics representing the dominating, socially engaged spirit, rejected the more exclusive industrial art of the 1920s through the 1940s.

For more than ten years, from October 1927, Axel Einar Hjorth acted as the chief designer/architect at Nordiska Kompaniet. During the years between the First and Second World War Nordiska Kompaniet was one of the most important Swedish furniture manufacturers and above all, the most exclusive one. Nordiska Kompaniet and Hjorth took part in most of the important national as well as international exhibitions of that time. Among these are the Barcelona exhibition (1929), the Stockholm exhibition (1930), the exhibition at the Dorland House in London (1931) and the world exhibitions in Chicago (1933), in Brussels (1935) and Paris (1937). In addition to this, Axel Einar Hjorth was the organizer and curator of exhibitions at the department store itself on a yearly base.

At the international exhibition in Barcelona (May 1929 – January 1930), Axel Einar Hjorth was the architect and designer of the 300 m² hall for Nordiska Kompaniet or NK and for the administrative premises of Sweden. The booth of Nordiska Kompaniet, inclusive floor and walls, were prepared and produced in Sweden, under Hjorth’s supervision. The Caesar furniture series that premiered in November 1928 at the Nordiska Kompaniet’s exhibition, was here presented: it’s handcrafted ornamentation shows urns and stylised leafs similar to the Caesar library table. Historically however, the Swedish participation in Barcelona was overshadowed due to the predominant German pavilion of the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969).

With the break through of Modernism in Sweden, Axel Einar Hjorth was one of the most important designers at the Stockholm exhibition in 1930. His pieces of furniture for Nordiska Kompaniet were characterized by high quality craftsmanship and advanced material combinations. The furniture was manufactured for high class clientele with modern demands but sharply contrasted with the social program that in many ways was typical for the exhibition.

As the chief architect at Nordiska Kompaniet Hjorth received commissions to create interiors although the company had a separate department for this purpose. Some of the most striking commissions were Hjorth’s designs for the Shah of Persia’s railway trains and the Nordiska Kompaniet's Paris shop. He left Nordiska Kompaniet in order to start his own business in February 1938.

From 1938 on, Axel Einar Hjorth carried on working, alternating between running a shop and managing an architect office. But at the end of the 1940s he was financially forced to seek employment again, this time as chief designer at Aski, a company producing simple office furniture and interiors. Along with his work at Aski he carried on his architect office - in a modest way - up to the mid 1950s. In June 1959 he passed away after a sudden illness.

This Caesar library table has a top in walnut, carved gilt frame with double attached fluted legs and feet with carved decoration of acanthus leafs.

 

16 March 1929

Walnut, gilt wood

Brass label on the table reverse: A B NORDISKA KOMPANIET R 33235 16 3 29

H. 73 cm,  W. 175 cm, D. 75 cm

 

Sources: Björk, C., Ekström, T. & Ericson, E.  (2009), Axel Einar Hjorth: möbelarkitekt, Stockholm: Signum, p. 59-76; http://www.stockholmmodern.se/research/a-e-hjorth-archive-9400195 [website] (consulted 13 December 2013).



Sofa

Frits Henningsen
(Danish, 1889–1965)

Sofa
Frits Henningsen
(Danish, 1889–1965)

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Frits Henningsen was a famous Danish furniture designer and cabinet maker who achieved high standards of quality with exclusively handmade pieces.

He was both the proprietor of a furniture-making workshop with a team of cabinetmakers in central Copenhagen as well as the designer of his own products. An active member of the Cabinetmakers Guild from 1927, he was admired by his fellow colleagues for the high quality of his craftsmanship. Many of his pieces were crafted in exotic woods such as rosewood and mahogany. All his furniture is handmade in line with traditional, labour-intensive methods from the 19th century. His pieces are noted for their elegance, above all for the soft curves in the arms of his chairs and sofas, demonstrating his traditional approach aiming to combine style and comfort.

In 1942, Henningsen distanced himself from the younger designers of the day who increasingly used straight lines in their work, believing furniture design needed to maintain curvature which contributed to a homely look.

 

Sofa

1930's

Mahogany, leather, brass

H. 75 cm, W. 200 cm, D. 76 cm

 

Source: Hansen, P. H. & Petersen, K. (2007), Moderne dansk møbeldesign: tendenser, hammerslag og historie, Copenhagen: Gyldendal, p. 42.



Lamp decorated with four ram’s heads

Th. Moreau
(?° - †?)

Lamp decorated with four ram’s heads
Th. Moreau
(?° - †?)

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1920s-1930s              

Patinated bronze

Signed on base Th. Moreau

Foundry name Cie des Bronzes cire perdue Bruxelles

H. 41 cm, Diam. base 12  cm



Pair of patinated and ormolu bronze figural candlesticks


(French, early 19th century)

Pair of patinated and ormolu bronze figural candlesticks

(French, early 19th century)

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A pair of candlesticks both with a classical female figure with offerings surmounted by ormolu bronze leaves and mounted on a circular base made of white and beige marble, decorated with ormolu bronze chains.

Patinated and ormolu bronze, marble

H. 29,50 cm, Diam. base 8,50 cm



Pair of neoclassical Art Deco armchairs

Pair of neoclassical Art Deco armchairs

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1920s-1930s

Oak and leather

Pair of oak garden chairs decorated with designs inspired by the spirit of classic Antiquity such as acanthus leaves, Greek geometric and linear patterns. The seat consists of the original interlaced leather straps.

H. 75 cm, seat H. 47,50 cm, W. 58 cm, D. 60 cm



Art Deco cupboard

Émile Bernaux
(French, 1883 – Paris 1970)

Art Deco cupboard
Émile Bernaux
(French, 1883 – Paris 1970)

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Émile Bernaux was decorator, designer en sculptor in wood, and began to produce from 1909 on. He created numerous furniture ensembles. Bernaux worked with oak, mahogany, sometimes gilded wood and often, as from 1923 on, with the exotic May-dou wood.

He was a professor at the École des Arts décoratifs in Paris from 1904 to 1921 and teached anatomy. He exhibited from 1911 to 1929 on a regular basis at the Artistes Décorateurs, but also took part in exhibitions of the Salon des Artistes Français, the Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne.

Bernaux was awarded with a diplôme d'honneur (honorary diploma) at the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in 1925. A picture of the Bernaux stand shows a furniture ensemble created by different artists. The stand itself was created by architect Alfred Levard (1879-1953), the furniture by Émile Bernaux, the chandelier by Adalbert George Szabo (1877-1961), the embroidery by Guilly after Lucien Levy-Dhurmer (1865-1953), the carpet by Coupe, the sculpture by Felix Desruelles (1865-1943) and Oury, and the vase by Jean Mayodon (1893-1967).

France

Ca. 1930

Cabinet with one large door and richly decorated with asymmetrical geometric motifs

Type of wood: burl Thuja plicata. The Thuja (giant tree of life and the provincial tree of British Columbia) native to western North America and also known as Western Red Cedar to indicate it is not a true cedar (Cedrus), belongs to the cypress family (Cupressaceae). Burl Thuya wood is very compact and shows vivid and wild patterns.

H. 192,50 cm, W. 97 cm, D. 50 cm

 

Sources: Bénézit, E. (vol. 2) (1999), Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays par un groupe d’écrivains spécialistes français et étrangers, Paris: Éditions Gründ, p. 185; Kjellberg, P. (2011), Art Deco Les maîtres du mobilier - Le décor des paquebots, Paris, Les Éditions de l'Amateur, 280 p.; Rapin, H. (ed.), Art Deco Design and Ornament, p. 1-2; Testard, M. (1912),‘Émile Bernaux’ in L’art décoratif, juillet/décembre 1912, jg. 14, 2de semester, deel 28, p. 377-386; website .



Guéridon with sophisticated marquetry in various burlwoods

Attributed to Louis-François-Laurent Puteaux
(French, 1780-1864)

Guéridon with sophisticated marquetry in various burlwoods
Attributed to Louis-François-Laurent Puteaux
(French, 1780-1864)

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The cabinet-maker Louis-François-Laurent Puteaux developed a new and idiosyncratic style based on the use of native burlwood. His choice of wood was partly a consequence of Bonaparte’s Continental System, which in 1806 brought into effect a wholesale embargo on trade with Britain that lasted until 1814. In 1812 Puteaux went to Paris in hopes of securing the patronage of the Comte de Montesquiou and the royal court for his luxurious furniture. At the time he met with little success, but his participation in the Exposition de produits de l’industrie française in 1819, which gained him an honourable mention, and another exhibition in 1823, for which he was awarded a bronze medal in recognition of the extraordinary quality of his marquetry, brought him the necessary renown. He subsequently supplied the Garde-Meuble of Louis XVIII(1755-1825) with several pieces of furniture decorated with the emblems of France.

Puteaux referred to himself as an artiste-mécanicien – an artist-technician. His pieces were described at the time as ‘exceptional furniture and of an eminent beauty’ which ‘appear most elegant and most various through the choice of woods and combination of natural effects’. In 1830, however, he abandoned the production of luxury pieces to concentrate on a more industrial type of furniture manufacture and on the development of affordable housing (village of Batignolles) to help relieve the congestion of Paris. 

The circular table top, the central support and the base are all made of various nativeburlwoods.  Floral and geometric designs, palmettes and motifs depicting architectural implements are finely worked in marquetry.

 

Ca.1825

H. 71 cm, Dia. 80.5 cm

 

Museum: Paris (Musée Carnavalet)

Source: Ledoux-Lebard, D., p. 533-534



Empire guéridon decorated with gilt bronze


(French, early 19th century)

Empire guéridon decorated with gilt bronze

(French, early 19th century)

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Guéridon in burlwood with marble top. The supports, which narrow from the base upwards, are mounted in gilt bronze whose design alludes to the base and capital of a classical column. The base of the guéridon is in the form of a solid triangle with concave sides.

 

H. 76 cm, Dia. 113 cm



Guéridon with flowers, rams’ heads and palmettes in gilt bronze


(French, ca. 1820)

Guéridon with flowers, rams’ heads and palmettes in gilt bronze

(French, ca. 1820)

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Guéridon in contrasting light and dark woods: Amboinaburlwood with mouldings and narrow ebonized wood and amaranth bands that emphasize the table’s structure. The table edge is ornamented with floral motifs, the pyramidal support with rams’ heads and palmettes, all in gilt bronze.

 

H. 98 cm, Dia. 76 cm



Sideboard with monopodia

François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter
(French, 1770-1841)

Sideboard with monopodia
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter
(French, 1770-1841)

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François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, better known as Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841), ran one of the most prosperous and influential furniture workshops in Paris from 1796 to 1825. He was the son of the master chair-maker Georges Jacob (1739-1814), who worked in the Louis XVI and Directoire styles and carried out many royal commissions. In 1796 Georges Jacob retired and Jacob-Desmalter took over the family workshop in the rue Meslée in partnership with his older brother Georges (1768-1803), concentrating on the production of veneered case-pieces (ébénisterie) and turned and carved seat furniture (menuiserie). When his brother died just a few years later, Jacob-Desmalter’s father returned to the company, which soon became one of the largest furniture workshops in Paris.

Most of the furniture produced by Jacob-Desmalter et Cie was in the Empire style, with mahogany veneers and gilt-bronze mounts. The design of seat furniture was inspired by chairs and thrones of Antiquity, recognizable in details from bas-reliefs and Greek vases, Jacob-Desmalter became a principal supplier of furniture to the Emperor and he also received orders from Pauline Borghese, Napoleon’s sister in Rome, and the Empresses Joséphine and Marie Louise, for whom he produced numerous pieces for the châteaux of Malmaison and Compiègne, the Tuileries Palace, and other imperial residences. The company was greatly dependent on orders from Napoleon and in 1813, with imperial debts mounting as the Napoleonic Empire destabilized, the firm went bankrupt. Jacob-Desmalter managed to resurrect the company, however, and after 1815 commissions picked up again. He continued to run the company until his son, Georges-Alphonse, succeeded him in 1825. Jacob-Desmalter’s list of clients reflects the turbulent spirit of the times: the royal family, the leaders of the French Revolution, the Directoire, the Napoleonic Empire and the Restoration.

The sideboard has a white marble top, with two plain supports at the back and two richly sculpted monopodia at the front, resting on a rectangular base. A monopodium is a decorative support formed from the head and leg of an animal, usually a lion, as in this case. Roman prototypes (1st century BCE) have been found at Pompeii, for example. Central drawer beneath the top.

 

1813-1825

Mahogany and white marble

+ IACOB stamped on right and left beneath the top

H. 98 cm, W. 161 cm, D. 43 cm

 

Sources: Gloag, J.,p. 459, 616; Ledoux-Lebard, D.,p. 267-372



Swan console


(Italian, 1830-1835)

Swan console

(Italian, 1830-1835)

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This console has a rectangular top in Turquin Bleu marble resting on a band with marquetry showing a meander frieze, palmettes and floral designs. Both supports are sculpted in an elegant swan’s head and bundles of oak leaves resting on a rectilinear base also foreseen of marquetry. The backside shows very refined marquetry: in the middle an urn with palmettes carried by two swans, symbol of fidelity.

H. 95 cm, W. 119 cm, D. 49 cm



Pair of Jacob-Desmalter folio stands

François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter
(French, 1770-1841)

Pair of Jacob-Desmalter folio stands
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter
(French, 1770-1841)

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François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, better known as Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841), ran one of the most prosperous and influential furniture workshops in Paris from 1796 to 1825. He was the son of the master chair-maker George Jacob (1739-1814), who worked in the Louis XVI and Directoire styles and carried out many royal commissions. In 1796 Georges Jacob retired and Jacob-Desmalter took over the family workshop in the rue Meslée in partnership with his older brother Georges (1768-1803), concentrating on the production of veneered case-pieces (ébénisterie) and turned and carved seat furniture (menuiserie). When his brother died just a few years later, Jacob-Desmalter’s father returned to the company, which soon became one of the largest furniture workshops in Paris.

Most of the furniture produced by Jacob-Desmalter et Cie was in the Empire style, with mahogany veneers and gilt-bronze mounts. The design of seat furniture was inspired by chairs and thrones of Antiquity recognizable in details from bas-reliefs and Greek vases. Jacob-Desmalter became a principal supplier of furniture to the Emperor and he also received orders from Pauline Borghese, Napoleon’s sister in Rome, and the Empresses Josephine and Marie Louise, for whom he produced numerous pieces for the châteaux de malmaison and Compiègne, the Tuileries Palace, and other imperial residences. The company was greatly dependent on orders from Napoleon and in 1813, with imperial debts mounting as the Napoleonic Empire destabilized, the firm went bankrupt. Jacob-Desmalter managed to resurrect the company, however, and after 1815 commissions picked up again. He continued to run the company until his son, Georges-Alphonse, succeeded him in 1825. Jacob-Desmalter’s list of clients reflects the turbulent spirit of the times: the royal family, the leaders of the French Revolution, the Directoire, the Napoleonic Empire and the Restoration.
 

Both folio stands rest on casters, are fitted with shelves and with a présentoir covered with red leather.

 

Ca. 1813-1825

Cuban mahogany and red leather

+ IACOB stamped on left beneath both tops

H. 112 cm, W. 85,50 cm, D. 54 cm

 

Provenance: Château de Tencin - Isère - le Marquis de Monteynard (France).

 

Source: Ledoux-Lebard, D. (1984), Le mobilier français du XIXe siècle 1795-1889. Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers, Paris: Les éditions de l'amateur, p. 267-372.
 



Egyptianized bookcase


(French, 1907)

Egyptianized bookcase

(French, 1907)

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This Egyptianized bookcase from Southeast Asia, decorated with hieroglyphics, was found amidst a pile of junk in Bangkok. How it came there and what its history had been could only be conjectured. With the help of the Egyptologist Professor Dr Eugène Warmenbol of the Université libre de Bruxelles, however, some of the questions have now been answered.

On the front left of the bookcase is an inscription that reveals the cabinet-maker’s name: Joseph, with Birouty or Beyrouthi as a surname or place of origin. Who this individual was remains a question. In 1991 a piece of furniture came up for sale that had similar decorations by the same hand, but nothing more was known. In the only available photograph, which appeared in the Architectural Digest that year, the hieroglyphic script is illegible. Very probably ‘Joseph’ worked in Paris – the name of the city is also mentioned – but this is not absolutely certain. Below the name is a date, 1907, presumably the year in which the bookcase was made.

The bookcase’s maker found his inspiration for the design and the decorations in the two-volume richly illustrated Atlas de l’art égyptien by Émile Prisse d’Avennes, which was published in instalments between 1858 and 1877 and was hugely successful, likewise among artists and decorators. The general shape of the bookcase was almost certainly derived from the niche of the mammisi or ‘birth-house’ at Dendera (vol. Architecture, pl. 53). On the left side are the heads of Amenhotep III and his first consort Queen Tiye, which Prisse d’Avennes copied from a Theban tomb. On the right side are the profiles of King Taharqa, portrayed as the god Amun, as he is on the colonnade he erected at Karnak, and Tausert, a queen from the nineteenth dynasty.

The name and profession of the person for whom ‘Joseph’ made the bookcase are also revealed by the long inscription on the right: Parmentier and architect. Following these details is Siam, the old name for Thailand. Surprisingly, this is followed by Maha Chulalongkorn, a title borne by the king of Siam. Undoubtedly the architect in question was Henri Parmentier (Paris 1871 – Phnom Penh 1949), who worked in French Indochina from the early years of the 20th century until his death. He was a pensionary of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), which commissioned him to study the country’s art, architecture and archaeology. The excavations at Angkor became his life’s work. Why Siam should be mentioned in the inscription seems something of a puzzle: Parmentier did not work in Thailand. In 1907, however, Rama V of Siam ceded territory, including Siem Reap Province, where the Angkor temple complex is located, to Cambodia – or, more accurately, to what was then French Indochina. Before that date Parmentier’s beloved Angkor had indeed been in Siam.

Whatever the case, Indochina was Parmentier’s second home. Among those with whom he had close contacts was Georges Maspéro, one of the two sons of Gaston Maspéro, who was one of France’s most renowned Egyptologists. But in 1907 – the year in which the bookcase was built – Parmentier returned to Paris for a few months. It was presumably then that he had it made and shipped to Southeast Asia. Pieces of furniture in the Egyptianized style are not unusual in themselves, but this is the only known example to have been to the Far East and back.

 

Black-painted fruitwood withgilt woodandmetalornaments

Signed and dated 1907 in the inscription on the front left

H. 280 cm, W. 175 cm, D. 67 cm

 

Provenance: Bangkok

Exhibition: Edouard and Cleopatra. Egyptomania’s from the XIXth century, 20 September 2012 – 10 February 2013, Brussels, Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation

Sources: ART-A, p.88-90; Boghossian Foundation, p. 36; Marchal, H., p. 93-101; Prisse d’Avennes, É., vol. Architecture, pl. 53; Veldeman, M., p. 44-47; Warmenbol, E.



William IV mahogany breakfront library case


(English, ca. 1835)

William IV mahogany breakfront library case

(English, ca. 1835)

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The library case has a pedimented central section that projects in front of the side sections. The central and side sections have adjustable shelves and four glazed doors. The lower part of the case has four solid doors.

 

H. 264 cm, W. 252 cm, D. 51 cm

D. upper shelves on the left and right: 24 cm; D. lower shelves 34.5 cm

D. upper shelves in the centre: 30.5 cm; D. lower shelves 41.5 cm



Open Empire library case


(French, early 19th century)

Open Empire library case

(French, early 19th century)

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This bookcase in clouded mahogany has three vertical divisions. The architrave and four pilaster-like stiles are embellished with classically-inspired gilt bronze ornaments, including griffins, palmettes, garlands, floral motifs, stars, birds and amphorae. Above the architrave, correspondent to each stile, are four classical gilt bronze female busts. The base is supported on four gilt bronze lion’s claw feet. The large number of shelves allows the bookcase to be easily adapted.

 

H. 306 cm, W. 282 cm, D. 43 cm



Pair of Directoire chairs with style elements of the Greek Klismos chair

Attributed to Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené
(French, 1747-1803)

Pair of Directoire chairs with style elements of the Greek Klismos chair
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené
(French, 1747-1803)

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Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené came from a family of menuisiers and ébénistes, becoming a maître ébéniste himself at the age of twenty-one (1769). One of the regular suppliers to Louis XVI’s Garde-Meuble, Sené is particularly famed for a bed he created for Marie-Antoinette, which was installed in the royal château at Fontainebleau in 1787. Thanks to his employment as an administrator for the Directoire government he was able to continue producing furniture, unlike many of his colleagues, who went bankrupt.

 

The open back is decorated with trelliswork and the front legs, which resemble the hind legs of a deer, terminate in a cloven hoof. ‘Directoire’ describes the style of decoration and design prevailing in France during the period of government known as the Directory, roughly between 1795 and 1799. Directoire art incorporated a wide range of symbols and motifs drawn both from Antiquity and from the Revolution itself. The klismos chair, a Greek invention, was designed in Antiquity for a more natural and stable posture. The rearwards curving back legs sweep upwards to support a broad concave back-rest that supports the body.

 

Ca.1800

Mahogany

H. 93 cm

 

Source: Ledoux-Lebard, D., p. 577-580



Art Nouveau footstool

Attributed to Knut Fjaestad
(Swedish, 19th - 20th century)

Art Nouveau footstool
Attributed to Knut Fjaestad
(Swedish, 19th - 20th century)

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Ca.1900

Sculpted pinewood (with birds, hearts) and brown embossed leather.

H. 39 cm, Diam. 36 cm

 



George IV sarcophagus-shaped wine cooler


(English, 1820-1830)

George IV sarcophagus-shaped wine cooler

(English, 1820-1830)

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This wine cooler has a hinged rectangular top with a carved oak-leaf handle above four radiating sections and a boldly carved lotus border. The cooling section is concave on each side with a smaller lotus apron and a lead-lined interior. It rests on scrolled feet concealing brass castors.

 

Pollarded oak

H. 70 cm, W. 94 cm, L. 64 cm



Pair of large candelabra decorated with masks


(French, mid-19th century)

Pair of large candelabra decorated with masks

(French, mid-19th century)

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The candelabra have six curved arms terminating in candle holders. In the centre is a ‘burning flame’. The fluted shaft rises from acanthus leaves. Each candelabrum is supported on three boldly carved lion paws on a triangular marble base. The top of the shaft is decorated with three subtly elaborated masks.

 

Patinated and gilt bronze

H. 90 cm



Charles X chandelier with alabaster bowl and green-patinated bronze chains


(French, 1825 – 1830)

Charles X chandelier with alabaster bowl and green-patinated bronze chains

(French, 1825 – 1830)

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Provenance: Musée Marmottan Monet - Paris

 

H. 130 cm, Dia. 60 cm 



Chandelier in wrought iron with glass

Carlo Rizzarda
(Italian, 1883-1931)

Chandelier in wrought iron with glass
Carlo Rizzarda
(Italian, 1883-1931)

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Carlo Rizzarda was famed for his work in wrought iron – balustrades, gates, doors, fences, lamps, chandeliers and furniture. Feltre, his birthplace, is home to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Carlo Rizzarda, a museum of decorative arts with a unique collection of early-20th-century wrought ironwork. The museum, which opened in 1938, contains an extensive collection of works acquired by Rizzarda to furnish his house in Milan, as well as wrought iron objects made by Rizzarda himself between 1910 and 1930.

In 1905 Rizzarda received a scholarship that allowed him to train in wrought ironwork in Milan, whereAlessandro Mazzucotelli, a master craftsman specializing in wrought ironwork in the Art Nouveau style, showed him the material’s rich artistic potential. In 1910, following the Exposition universelle de Bruxelles, Rizzarda started his own business.The first time he exhibited his work, at the first Mostra internazionale delle arti decorative, heldin Monza in 1923, he achieved great success with objects in a neo-classical and neo-Baroque style as well as pieces in a more rustic and primitive idiom. He went on to work with the leading architects of the time.In 1924 he took part in the Venice Biennale and in 1925 he won the third prize in the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.At the 1927 Mostra Internazionale di arte decorativa in Monza, however, the flamboyant Rizzarda style began to be more critically assessed. Tastes and requirements were changing and the need for rationality and functionality ultimately led to a decline in the popularity of Rizzarda's work in wrought iron.

 

1920s

H. ca. 90 cm

 

Museum: Feltre

Source: website of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna ‘Carlo Rizzarda’



Art Deco library table with classicized marquetry

Art Deco library table with classicized marquetry

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Sweden

Circa 1930

Jacaranda wood and mahogany. The sculpted supports are decorated with classicized marquetry.       

H. 76 cm, B./L. 158 cm, D./P. 80 cm

 



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