• 20th Century Decorative Art  & auction at Christies

    Sale 7759

    20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    27 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    EMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)


    Price Realised  


    EMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)
    cherry, the backs inlaid with various woods, each with a different design: daffodils, pine cones, fruiting holly, cornflowers, flowering plant with butterflies and flowering branch with butterflies
    37½ in. (95 cm.) high
    daffodil and pine cones with horizontal inlaid mark GALLÉ; fruiting holly and cornflowers with vertical inlaid mark GALLÉ; flowering plant and flowering branch with branded mark Emile Gallé Nancy EG and Cross of Lorraine, one chair Exposition 1889 (6)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This exceptional suite of chairs draws attention to a significant moment in the rich and multi-facetted career of Emile Gallé. The mark that confirms their inclusion in the Exposition Universelle of 1889 situates them at the start of an important new venture. For this exhibition was the context in which the artist, already well established as a master of glass and of faience, first unveiled his ambitions as a furniture maker. The chairs perfectly express the stylistic strands that he was to interweave so effectively and so consistently though his creations. Unlike certain more radical contemporaries, he maintained a respect for traditional furniture forms - in this instance the silhouette calls to mind the style of the era of Henri IV. Yet Gallé's individuality is unmistakably evidenced in the decorative marquetry that takes its inspiration, at once accurately and elegantly, from nature.

    A chair of this design can be seen in contemporary photograph of Gallé's home, La Garenne, in Nancy, alongside other emblematic examples of his conceptual and technical skill as a creator of furniture in a new idiom.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 15% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.


    The John and Katsy Mecom Collection, Part II, Sotheby's New York, 26 November, 1993, lot 141;
    Private European Collection


    Jean-François Brabant, Emile Gallé et Victor Prouvé Une Alliance Pour Le Mobilier, 2002, p. 7 (design illustrated)