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Style Napoleon III / Ref.10716

Julien-Nicolas RIVART (1802-1867) - Purple velvet Folder decorated of porcelain marquetry

Width: 9''   23cm
Height: 13''   33cm

Between 1850 and 1867.

Purple velvet, porcelain marquetry. In good condition.

Bibliographie :
Marc Maison et Emmanuelle Arnauld, Marqueteries virtuoses au XIXe siècle : Brevets d'invention. Rivart, Cremer, Fourdinois, Kayser Sohn et Duvinage, Dijon, Faton, 2012, p. 37.

This velvet-covered folder is lined with moire fabrics on the inside. It has two compartments on each side and a matching file. Realized by Julien-Nicolas Rivart , it is decorated with a porcelain inlay painted in imitation of flowers, a branch of lilacs accompanied by white flowers, probably bindweed. The purple velvet background particularly emphasizes the porcelain's delicacy, and the liveliness of the colors. Through skilfully mastered range of hues, the painter was able to give an illusion of depth, creating the impression of a real branch of lilac laid on the folder.

The use of a velvet support, particularly contrasting with porcelain, is extremely rare. Rivart foresees in his patent to inlay in all types of materials, including cardboard, leather, or velvet; but the overwhelming majority of the works reached us through time are embedded in wood. The folder we present is thus an exceptional example of inlays in velvet, a witness to a production much appreciated by the clientele, which at the time was described as "yet more beautiful than beautiful" (Auguste Luchet, The Industrial Art at the Exhibition of 1867).

Inspired by porcelain slabs inserted in panels, a fashion from 18th century, as well as Florentine mosaics in hard stones, Julien-Nicolas Rivart succeeded to develop an original technique, completely renewing the use of porcelain by inlaying it like a true marquetry, where each element is independent. Several times rewarded at the World's Fairs , Rivart porcelain inlays are particularly appreciated by critics both French and English. Rivart 's technique, "very ingenious", "delicious process", "one of the most important innovations for furniture decorations" is unanimously greeted for the charm its porcelain inlays release and the originality of the process. Patenting his invention in 1849, Rivart ensures a unique but rare production of furniture and small decorative elements of an extreme quality and a great sophistication.

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