This cabinet opens with two leaves decorated with lacquer panels with a black background decorated with pagodas, boats, mountains and figures; the sides are in European varnish decorated with phoenixes on branches of flowers. The piece of furniture rests on a blackened wooden plinth with gilded thread. The oval cornice is curved on the sides.
The use of lacquer panels from Chinese screens has existed since the end of the 17th century. Highly prized in 18th century French cabinetmaking, lacquers were purchased by haberdashery merchants who entrusted them to cabinet makers in order to adapt them to the structure of the furniture, some even making them a real specialty.
If the 19th century is that of the development of sciences and techniques, from an artistic point of view, it is quite different since we are rediscovering the styles of the past, by adding the prefix "neo" like the neo-renaissance style or in giving them a new attribute like the "Troubadour" style.
As for the works of the 18th century, they aroused real enthusiasm from the July Monarchy. The restoration of the Palace of Versailles and the creation of the National Museum of Versailles by Louis Philippe will play a major role in the rediscovery of the arts of the 18th century.
From that time on, furniture was ordered to complete certain sets in order to recreate sets that had disappeared at the time of the revolutionary sales.
From servile imitations, a certain wealthy clientele will slip "in the style", "in the genre" of the 18th century. This is how certain craftsmen will develop a real historical interest for the 18th century and learn to know the different styles of this period in order to be able to interpret them brilliantly.
The collector and art historian Edmond Bonnaffé wrote in the first half of the 19th century: "curiosity is not dead" (curiosity for the 18th century).
Cabinetmakers like Bellangé (1799-1863), Monbro (1774-1841) also acting as merchants have a perfect knowledge of 18th century furniture and can therefore be inspired by it for their creations.
The lacquer panels that fascinated customers in the 17th and 18th centuries remain the prerogative of renowned 19th century cabinetmakers. The corporations having been abolished in 1789, the cabinetmaker also became a merchant in the 19th century and took over the role of the 18th century haberdashery merchants. The famous bronzier-cabinetmaker Henry Dasson (1825-1896) is one of these creators fascinated by the beauty of oriental lacquers and does not hesitate to introduce them to his most prestigious creations.
This cabinet is part of the renewal of 19th century furniture while using the decoration codes of the 18th century with lacquer panels on the leaves and European varnish panels on the sides as was traditionally done.
Label on the back of the cabinet: "Monsieur's room"
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