A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGURE CABINET-ON-STAND
A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGURE CABINET-ON-STAND
A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGURE CABINET-ON-STAND
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A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGURE CABINET-ON-STAND
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more EAST MEETS WEST IN THE INDUSTRIAL AGETHE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGNURE CABINET-ON-STAND

BY CHRISTOFLE & CIE AND GROHÉ FRÈRES, DESIGNED BY ÉMILE REIBER (1826-1893), PARIS, CIRCA 1874

Details
A FRENCH 'JAPONISME' ORMOLU, PATINATED-BRONZE, CLOISONNE ENAMEL, SILVERED, GILT, AND COPPER 'GALVANOPLASTIE'-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD AND EBONY ENCOIGNURE CABINET-ON-STAND
BY CHRISTOFLE & CIE AND GROHÉ FRÈRES, DESIGNED BY ÉMILE REIBER (1826-1893), PARIS, CIRCA 1874
The upper section with three-quarter faux-bambou superstructure supporting a shelf above a pair of climbing dragons and with a further pair of dragons to the angles, the convex-fronted cabinet with central frieze drawer with higurashi modelled handle over a framed cloisonné enamel panel depicting a butterfly and blossoming branches, against a latticework dinanderie ground, flanked to each side by a further drawer, the square front applied with a Foo Dog mask and ring handle against an enamelled ground, above a door with central shaped relief panel depicting a geisha with wolf below blossom and bamboo and with vessels to the foreground, signed to the lower right CHRISTOFLE & CIE., with stylised foliate hinges and locks, with studded reverse and interior fitted with two shelves, the side panels with central framed reserve depicting blossoming branches, against a latticework ground, with panelled sides, the base applied with foliate-etched clasps and centred by a pierced lotus flower mount, the conforming shaped stand with stiff-leaf frieze, above pierced fretwork terminating in stylised foliage, resting on five legs joined by a stretcher, on leaf-form feet, the underside with part of a shield-shaped paper U.S. Customs label
76 ¾ in. (195 cm.) high; 33 ¼ in. (84.5 cm.) wide; 26 in. (66 cm.) deep
Provenance
Maison Christofle et Cie.
By repute made for the Marquise de Païva (1819-1884).
Henri Bouilhet (1830-1910) and by descent to:
André Bouilhet (1866-1932).
Private Collection, France.
Property of a Private European Collection; Christie's, London, 23 February 2006, lot 100.
With Oscar Graf, Paris, 2012.
Literature
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs cabinet:
O. Nouvel-Kammerer Le Mobilier français, Napoleon III, Années 1880, page 69.
D. Ledoux-Lebard Le mobilier français du XIXième siècle, page 128.
P. Hunter-Stiebel and O. Nouvel-Kammerer Matières de Rêves: Stuff of Dreams from the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, catalogue from the exhibition, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 2002, pages 86-7.

The present lot:
Les Beaux-arts et les arts décoratifs, Exposition universelle de 1878, Gazette des Beaux-arts, Paris, 1879, p. 311.
H. Henry, Dictionnaire de l'ameublement et de la décoration depuis le XIIIème siècle jusqu'à nos jours, Paris, Quantin, 1887-1890, Vol. II, ill. Fig 296, p. 438.
C. Mestdagh, L'Ameublement d'art français: 1850-1900, Paris, 2010, Fig. 164, p. 147.
Roberto Polo The Eye, a selection of masterpieces from the collections which he has formed, Paris, 2011, no. pp. 203, 208-210.
Le Quotidien de l’art, Paris, no. 215, 13 September 2012, p.11.
W. Zeisler, L’objet d’art et de luxe Français en Russie (1881-1917), 2014, Fig. 21, p. 32.
Exhibited
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs cabinet and the present lot, a pair:
1874, Exposition l'Union Central des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
1878, Exposition universelle, Paris.
1883, International Colonial and Export Exhibition, Amsterdam.
1889, Exposition universelle, Paris.
1891. French Exhibition, Moscow.
1893, The World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago.
1900, Exposition universelle, Paris, Musée Centennal, Mobilier & Decoration à l’exposition universelle international de 1900, à Paris, Rapport de la Commission dInstallation, Paris, # 311 ‘Deux meubles dencoignure japonais, executes ca 1874’, p.89.
1922, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Pavillon de marsan, Palais du Louvre, Le Décor de la vie sous le Second Empire, Paris, 27 May - 10 July 1922, n°544 ‘Deux Encoignures exécutées pour Mme de Païva, d’après le dessin de Reiber. Ébénisterie de Grohé, bronzes et cloisonnés de Christoph[l]e A M. A. Bouilhet’.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

Lot Essay

This meuble dencoignure is a defining object of the Japonisme art movement and the embodiment of Asian influence on Western decorative arts. It represents an extraordinary flourishing of creative imagination during the second half of the 19th century when Christofle utilised newly discovered processes in the industrial arts, such as galvanoplastie, to emulate the ancient arts of Chinese cloisonné enamel and Japanese mixed-metal bronzework. Exhibited by Christofle in 1874 and at subsequent exhibitions, this is one of a pair of Japonisme cabinets, its pendant is in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (inv. 27662). Both cabinets were exhibited at the Louvre in 1922 when they were described as having been made for the famous courtesan Esther Lachmann, the Marquise de Païva. It can be speculated that the cabinets were never delivered to La Païva as they were exhibited again in Amsterdam in 1883 and thereafter as the property of Henri Bouilhet, the owner of Christofle. The cabinet in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs was given to the French state in 1930 in memory of Henri Bouilhet by his son André and grandson Tony-Henri Bouilhet. The present cabinet was separately sold by the Bouilhet family to a private French collector whose descendants sold it at Christie’s in London in 2006.

CHRISTOFLE ET CIE
Around 1830, Charles Christofle took over his brother-in-law's bijouterie-joaillerie 'Maison Calmette' and changed its name to 'Société Charles Christofle et Cie'. Christofle pioneered the production of relatively affordable electroplated flat and tableware having obtained patents in 1842 and 1843 from Elkington, their English competitor, for the galvanic process of gilding and silvering, known as argenterie electro-chimique. Pieces produced by this new process were first exhibited at the Exposition des produits de l'industrie française, Paris, in 1844 and won the firm a gold medal and its founder the gion d'Honneur. Shortly afterwards, Charles Christofle was appointed Fournisseur officiel du Roi Louis-Philippe and, in 1855, Fournisseur de l'Empereur, supplying fine quality pieces, predominantly tableware, for the various palaces and ministerial offices of Napoleon III. The commercial success brought by the production of electroplated silverware firmly established Christofle as France's leading manufacturer of gold and silverware in the second half of the 19th century. Following Charles Christofle's death in 1863 the firm passed to his son Paul (1838-1907) and nephew Henri Bouilhet (1830-1910) who worked to promote fine workmanship and good design which they prominently showcased at the international exhibitions. In 1865 they appointed Émile-Auguste Reiber (1826-1893) as head of Christofle's design studio who in addition to their usual production of silverware, developed an inspired series of quite extraordinary pieces in the Japanese style.

ÉMILE REIBER – MAÎTRE DE JAPONISME
Dubbed the ‘high priest of Japonisme,’ his influence reached all aspects of the decorative arts from wallpaper design to sculpture, and Reiber himself designed Théodore Deck’s Japanese-style ceramics. What came to be known as Japonsime was, when the present cabinet was conceived, considered modern art – a fresh French symbiosis with China and Japan, and Reiber was lauded for finding the right note in translating and updating the French chinoiserie taste of the 18th century. He sought to imitate the cloisonnés enamels and mixed-metal bronzework perfected over millennia in Japan and China. Rieber's Meiji counterparts gathered together in Kyoto, artists with differing expertise in casting, enamel and patination, to work in collaboration in the creation of a single piece, whereas in the West only at Christofle could Rieber have found the skill to start manufacture afresh and under one roof, where he had considerable technical capabilities in orfévrerie, galvanoplastie (electroplating) and bronzework. His innovation was therefore both technical and artistic. Once imagined, his designs were executed by the sculptor or modeller, Monsieur Mallet, the bronze patination by Monsieur Guignard, ‘un homme ingénieux et d'un grand goût dans ses décora-tions artistiques de l'orfévrerie et du bronze’ who by 1874 had thirty years’ experience at Christofle, and the enameller Antoine Tard, whose enamels were described as the equal of the most beautiful cloisonné from China. Guignard’s skill with bronze patination was commended with reference to the gilt, silvered and patinated bronze panels of geishas to these cabinets:
il nous faut citer parmi les plus précieux collaborateurs de Christofle, Guignard, l'auteur de ces patines talliques, dont les deux meubles d'encoignures sont, comme dessin et comme exécution, les deux plus merveilleux exemples que nous con-naissions (Les Beaux-arts et les arts décoratifs, Exposition universelle de 1878, Gazette des Beaux-arts Paris, 1879, p.313).

GROHÉ – LE MAÎTRE INCONTESTÉ DE L’ÉBÉNISTERIE MODERNE
The carcass of the present cabinet was constructed by the Parisian firm of Grohé. Established in the mid-1820s by Guillaume and Jean-Michel Grohé, they exhibited at the major exhibitions throughout the 19th century and supplied furniture to the French Royal households at Tuileries, Saint-Cloud and Fontainebleau, and to Queen Victoria for Windsor Castle. Grohé was responsible for the cabinetwork of the celebrated cradle presented by the City of Paris to the Empress Eugénie in 1856 which on public exhibition before the birth of the Prince Imperial was admired by 25,000 visitors. Following Guillaume's retirement in 1861, the younger brother Jean-Michel managed the business until 1884, when it ceased trading.

LA PAÏVA
Esther Pauline Lachmann was born in Russia in 1819 and rose from the humblest of beginnings to become the most beguiling courtesan of Second Empire Paris. Known as the Marquise de Païva, or La Païva, she enchanted le beau monde as hostess of her legendary and opulent tel particulier on the Champs-Élysées. The child of Polish and German Jews in a land not hospitable to her religion, she soon adopted the name Thérèse, the first of many French affectations, and later called herself Blanche. At seventeen she was married to a Muscovite tailor, and she dutifully bore a son before running away to Paris without divorce papers and without her son. With unbridled ambition, she worked her way from one liaison to another, from Berlin, to Vienna and London, she became the mistress of a well-known French pianist, before she drove him to financial ruin, then ensnared a Portuguese marquis, Albino Francesco Araújo de Païva. Having gained a title from her spendthrift marquis, she dispatched him back to Lisbon where he later took his own life after hearing of La Païva’s subsequent engagement to Count Henckel von Donnersmarck, a much younger Prussian aristocrat and one of the richest men in Europe. Count von Donnersmarck gave her everything. In addition to purchasing the Château de Pontchartrain, he underwrote the construction of her very own tel particulier at 25, avenue des Champs-Élysées, where La Païva established her legendary salon. Orchestrating a team of artists, between 1856 and 1866 the architect Pierre Manguin created at the Hôtel de la Païva one of the finest and most opulent examples of private architecture and interior design at the height of the Second Empire. The Henckel von Donnersmarck’s also commissioned the architect Hector Lefeul, famous for his transformations of the Louvre, to create a neo-renaissance palace called Schloss Neudeck on their estates in Upper Silesia, modern day Poland. Built between1869-1876, La Païva relocated permanently to Schloss Neudeck in 1877 after, reputedly, being asked to leave France having been accused of espionage. A large part of the furnishings were bought at the International Exhibition in Vienna in 1873, where Christofle exhibited. Charles Rossigneux (1818-1907) who worked extensively with Maison Christofle was employed as decorator and in turn Christofle produced much of the important elements of interior decoration, including a wrought iron and bronze staircase. In 1875 Christofle sent to Schloss Neudeck twenty-eight boxes and two specialists to assemble the whole. The few photographs of Schloss Neudeck and its interiors which remain show it was a breath-taking masterpiece of Second Empire design, but it was sadly ransacked during World War II and demolished in 1961.
With the link between La Païva and Maison Christofle thus firmly established, it is likely that the present encoignure and its pair were intended for Schloss Neudeck and further corroborates that the cabinets were executed for Mme de Païva, as stated when loaned by the Bouilhet family to the 1922 exhibition.

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