Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875
Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875
Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875
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Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875
5 More
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more
Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875

A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ MARQUETRY COMMODE

Details
Paul Sormani, Paris, circa 1875
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD AND BOIS SATINÉ MARQUETRY COMMODE
The brèche d'Alep marble top above two drawers decorated sans-traverse and mounted with rocaille encadrements, the sides similarly inlaid, the angles with espagnolette busts, the edge of the top drawer with plaquette engraved 'PAUL SORMANI 10, r. Charlot. Paris'
36 ¾ in. (93.5 cm.) high; 76 ½ in. (194.5 cm.) wide; 27 in. (69 cm.) deep
Provenance
The Ronald F. Antonioli Collection; Bonham’s, San Francisco, 30 October 2012, lot 2223 ($116,500).
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

The curvaceous bombé shape of the magnificent commode is in the florid Louis XV style reminiscent of the work of Bernard Van Risen Burgh and Joseph Baumhauer. The bois de bout marquetry and rocaille cast cartouche frames emphasise the sense of the pittoresque. The construction of this commode suggests that it is early in Sormani's oeuvre and it is indicative of his ambition and ability to have so successfully created a commode in the style of the great ébénistes du Roi.

An identical example of this commode is at the Catherine Palace, Tsarskoe Selo, St. Petersburg, and another furnishes Louise Vanderbilt’s boudoir at Hyde Park, New York. Built for Frederick William Vanderbilt between 1895 and 1899, by far the most opulent room at Hyde Park is Louise Vanderbilt’s boudoir which is a reproduction of a chambre royale of the Louis XV period. Designed by the Beaux-Arts architect and interior decorator Ogden Codman, the walls are hung with hand-embroidered silk, and wood panels of pastel green are inset with grisaille paintings. The bed, resplendent with gold railings, was copied from one at the Château Malmaison. The commode by Sormani stands between two windows (illustrated above).

A smaller example of this model is recorded in the archive of Pierre Lécoules and illustrated in C. Mestdagh, L'ameublement d'art français: 1850-1900, Paris, 2010, p. 123, fig. 122.

Please see lot 56 for another example of this model of commode by Sormani and an illustration of the companion commode at Tsarskoe Selo.

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