Museum Quality, no other version known to date.
Like his famous talking glassware often in glass marquetry, the artist here uses an extract from a poem by Maurice Maeterlinck and composes a rich and complex work that I invite you to discover together.
To look, to admire, to study this display cabinet, is quite simply to penetrate the spirit of Emile Gallé, his complex thought. Everything is there: his love of plants, nature and poetry. Through this talking collector's furniture, it is Emile Gallé who speaks to us. Let's go a little way together with him by peeling this exceptional piece a bit.
• The ribbed pear structure is enriched with a naturalistic decor, expressed through the sculpted elements and the inlaid decor, such as the balusters and rotating moldings (like plants), Bat (feet, gallery openwork), moths, acanthus leaves (cornice) ...
• Composed of 2 doors and 1 drawer in the central part, and niches with small shelves and asymmetrical consoles on either side, laterally:
• The glass door in the upper part is decorated with inlaid wild sunflowers
• The solid door at the bottom, decorated with thistles from Lorraine.
• The drawer, inlaid with a bat decor and embellished with a bronze lock entry to the model.
• Laterally, the shelves and consoles are, for some, supported by moths in the round, the inlaid decoration is with the motif of Daphne Odora and foliage.
• The Symbolist decor is expressed through a triptych in marquetry:
• The first part is located on the central plateau and contains two lines by Maurice Maeterlinck: "See what I bring you! Bad flowers of the earth" (extract from the poem Oraison from the Serres Chaudes 1889 collection).
The inlaid decoration represents a Taupe-headed demon and a languid woman, both with root-shaped lower limbs.
• The second part is located in the lower left corner. It is deliberately less legible since cut in its reading by a tablet located in the middle of the panel. The scene represents a Mandrake root (magic and hallucinogenic plant) surrounded by a circle made up of letters from the ancient Greek alphabet: "ATROP MANDRAG" (Atropa Mandrake)
Above, levitating, an embryonic tadpole in a circle.
Finally, in the lower part, under the shelf, Belladonna (Atropa Balladone, another hallucinogenic plant), and 3 toads including one misshapen, monstrous.
This motif probably refers to the author and art critic Jean Lorrain.
• The 3rd part, pendant of the previous one, therefore located at the bottom right, is a panel inlaid more simply but extremely finely with a hemlock pattern.
Signatures on the three parts of the triptych:
• central panel: Maeterlinck and Gallé
• lower left panel: Gallé
• lower right panel: Gallé Emile spelled out, confused with Cigüe.
Condition: Very good condition, restored in workshop.
Although the sponsor has not yet been identified, this talking showcase by Emile Gallé is an event in its own right in the history of the artist's cabinetmaking productions.
By taking us in the footsteps of Maurice Maeterlinck, we quite clearly perceive the spirit of the world of witchcraft and medieval legends, which Emile Gallé was probably to appreciate in the poet.