Style Other / Ref.11431
CREIL-MONTEREAU FACTORY (attributed to) - Mantel garniture in the japanese taste with trompe l'oeil cloisonné
Width: 12'' ⅝ 32cm
Height: 22'' 56cm
Depth: 10'' ¼ 26cm
France, 19th century
Faience, polychrome enamel, gilt-bronze
Size of the clock: Height: 22'' 1/16 ; Width: 12'' 5/8 ; Depth: 10'' 1/4
Size of the lamps: Height: 30'' 5/16 ; Width: 7'' 1/16 ; Depth: 7'' 1/16
This exceptional polychrome faience mantle garniture, mounted in bronze, is made up of a clock and two petrol lamps. The rich decoration is drawn from a large ornamental vocabulary inspired by the Far East that was so popular in France during the last quarter of the 19th century. The clock is decorated with a large cockatoo perched on a long, slender leaf while the clock face is crowned with a nightingale in flight. The two lamps are decorated with wading birds in a lakeside setting. The scene is set upon a blue background painted with fine applied gold lines that simulate Chinese cloisonné.
The bronze mounts are extremely refined and each piece sits upon a four-legged base in the shape of elephant heads. The clock is surmounted by a large bronze Oriental Foo dog, a figure that was extremely popular in 19th century China. The influence of the Japanese style is evident in the motifs and the technique of “faux cloisonné” that consisted of painting a network of lines in gold on a blue ground that imitates cloisonné of the Far East.
Although unmarked, this mantle garniture is typical of the faience produced by the Creil-Montereau factory for the Escalier de Cristal. Founded in 1719, Montereau entered into partnership with Creil in 1840, which became “Lebeuf, Milliet and Company” in 1841. After the death of Louis Lebeuf, in July of 1876, Henri Félix Anatole Barluet, the director at Creil, became the Director General of the Société de la Manufacture de Creil et Montereau, which then took the name “Barluet and Company” until the death of Barluet, in 1884. This beautiful mantle garniture was produced during this period; several plates decorated in a similar manner and marked “B et Cie” are known to exist. It seems probable that this garniture was made for the retailer, Escalier de Cristal, the shop that was so renowned in the second half of the 19th century. The Escalier de Cristal actively participated in the development of Far Oriental taste by marketing small decorative objects and luxury furniture in the so-called “Japanese style.” Founded in 1804 by the widow Desarnaud, it was taken over by Pierre-Isidore Lahoche, an associate of her son-in-law, and became “Pannier, Lahoche and Company”, in 1867, when they relocated near the new Paris Opera. At the time, this was a fashionable neighborhood where elegant women and lovers of beautiful objects came to visit the prestigious shops in order to find furniture and precious items that would attest to their good taste and sophisticated lifestyle.
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