This bureau de dame (lot 42) and table à ouvrage (lot 43) by Joseph Emmanuel Zwiener exemplify the elegant fashions of fin de siècle Paris. Born in Herdon, Germany, in 1849, Zwiener worked in Paris between 1880 and 1895 establishing himself as one of the premier haut luxe cabinetmakers of the late 19th century. His distinctive style expertly fused the high-rococo opulence of the Louis XV period with the latest Art Nouveau. Here Zwiener's sculptural, almost naturalistic, design is apparent in the characteristic bombé curves, foliate mounts and sweeping cabriole legs. With exceptional craftsmanship Zwiener's use of delicate gilt-bronze mounts, fine veneers and marquetry invites comparisons to the work of the celebrated ébéniste François Linke. Indeed it is almost certain that Zwiener employed the young Linke at his workshop. Zwiener was awarded a médaille d'or at the 1889 Paris Exhibition and a group of furniture he produced for the German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) was exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.
A comparable bureau de dame by Zwiener sold Christie's, London, 27 September 2007, lot 110 (£24,500).