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Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.10880

Gabriel VIARDOT(1830-1906) (Att. to) - Small Japanese style table with fan

Width: 27'' ⅛  69cm
Height: 31'' ⅛  79cm
Depth: 16'' ½  42cm

France, 19th century

This small Japanese style tea table, made out of beech wood, decorated with gilded bronze decorations and inlays of ebony and mother-of-pearl was made in the late 19th century by the Parisian cabinetmaker Gabriel Viardot (1830-1904) specialized in the production of Chinese and Japanese inspired furniture.
The top is decorated with a fan which leaf is carved in wood and which strands are made out of ebony inlaid with mother of pearl. A butterfly embellishes the composition. A gilded bronze dragon is winding on one end of the table top. The vivacity of his posture and the precision of the bronze details are of great finesse and sophistication, like the other bronze pieces adorning this table. The center of the openwork apron is adorned with a bronze plate where have been chiseled various floral motifs. Four bronze heads of Foo dogs are at the top of the feet. The many details composing these figures, such as the curves and undulations of their manes, are remarkable. The feet support an openwork stretcher. The feet end with sharp claws carved into the wood.
This piece of furniture is characteristic of Gabriel Viardot’s production. The presence of a bronze piece in high relief appears to be the signature of Gabriel Viardot. We find for example a bronze dragon on the mirror kept at the Orsay Museum in Paris. This motif is indeed often seen in his work, as evidenced by this Armchair kept at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris : this time, the dragon is carved in the wood, the decor is openwork as on our tea table and the back of the seat is also ornated with mother-of-pearl inlays. This armchair is the result of a double inspiration, Japanese and Chinese, inspirations freely interpreted by Gabriel Viardot to answer to the European taste for exoticism and hybrid decors.

Gabriel Viardot began his career in 1849, when he participated at the horticultural exhibition with naturalist decorations carved in wooden furniture. He then works with his brother Louis Gustave under the name of "Viardot Frères et Cie" and owns Rue Rambuteau a factory and a shop. He then created his own studio in 1860 and took over the family business that he kept until 1872. Then he devoted himself to creating furniture inspired by both Japanese and Chinese art, which were very popular since the World’s Fair of 1867. This exhibition indeed is the true birth of the vogue for Japonism that will characterize european arts until the end of the century. Gabriel Viardot won several medals at the Universal Expositions (1867, 1878, 1885, 1889 and 1900) and at the 8th exhibition of the Central Union of Decorative Arts in 1884. He made his furniture with lacquered panels, sent from China or Japan, which he adorned with mother-of-pearl inlays from Tonkin.

This elaborately decorated table is characteristic of the 19th-century taste for the works with multiple and foreign inspirations. It is also characteristic of Gabriel Viardot’s work, surely one of the greatest creators of furniture and objects of art of "Chinese-Japanese genre".

Price: on request

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