Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.13653
CHRISTOFLE - Exceptional planter in electroplated copper, partially copper colored, gilt, silvered and burnished on a silver background, circa 1878
Width: 17'' ¾ 45cm
Height: 5'' ½ 14cm
Depth: 11'' ⅜ 29cm
This exceptional planter was produced by the silver company Christofle from a model by the architect and theorist Emile Reiber (1826-1893), then chief of the house’s drawing workshop since 1865.
Strongly marked by the Japanese or Chinese bronzes, Emile Reiber is one of the Japonisme leader in the decorative arts in France. He is especially inspired by the Japanese mixed-metal objects called Mokume, for his tries on the polychromatic research. Thus, he composed colored models for the Christofle company made thanks to the electroplated technique, of which the French rights of the Elkington’s patent were bought by Charles Christofle (1805-1863), founder of the house, in 1842, then really developed by Henri Bouilhet in the workshops.
It’s this way that Emile Reiber permits the company to renew its production in the 1870’s, by creating a collection of original decorative pieces mainly Japan inspired. They were particularly noticed during their presentation in the World Fairs of Vienna in 1873 and Paris 1878, making of Christofle, the silversmith of the colored bronze.
Since its origins, Christofle has followed the tastes of its time, reflecting the artistic movements in vogue. From the Monarchy of July to the late 19th century, prevail the eclecticism and the naturalism, while the East favors the research for new decors. On the Orientalism and Japonism momentum, nature inspires the production of objects and places progressively on the market objects with various shapes and decorations. Thus, the plants theme in the decor is generalized in the 1880’s.
To always better renew its decorative vocabulary, the most important French Silver house of the second half of the 19th century, occasionally asks famous artists to work for them. It’s this way that Emile Reiber draws the model of our planter edited in diverse colors, on black or red backgrounds.
Presenting a decor in the Japanese taste, the silver colored body of our gardener shows a decor composed of copper colored quince flowers with burnished leaves and also burnished cherry tree branches. It rests on gilt bronze feet taking the shape of pine cones that we also find on the handles. The different metallic shades are obtained thanks to the electroplated technique.
Similar in its principle to the gilding or the silver plating, the electroplating is a fabrication proceed which is a ruthless competitor to the different cast iron techniques. The aim is to allow the metal reproduction of any object, whatever its nature. The huge advantage of this technique compared to the cast iron is to make an object immediately perfect, without mending or carving it.
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