Corner cupboard

Émile Reiber (1826-1893), designer
Grohé Frères, cabinetmakers
Eugène Capy (1829-1894), modeler
Mallet, modeler
Guignard, patina maker
Antoine Tard, enameler
Christofle Company, manufacturer
Paris, 1874-1878
Carcase and base in ebony, rosewood, blackened pearwood, door in gilded and patinated galvanic bronze, copper, silver, gold and cloisonné enamel
Gift of André and Tony-Henri Bouilhet in memory of Henri Bouilhet, 1930
Inv. 27662
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance

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After the World’s Fair of 1867, the Christofle silver company was one of the first to apply the Chinese cloisonné enamel technique to industrial processes. The designer Émile Reiber, employed by Christofle, drew inspiration from Chinese and Japanese bronzes to invent new decorative designs combining gold, silver and enamel patinas.

This striking corner cupboard with inlaid relief patterns was presented at the Exhibition of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs in 1874. The central cartouche, decorated with a female figure and a fantastic animal copied from a Japanese print, features patinated gilt bronze mounts. Christofle created luxury furniture by renewing its aesthetic with enamels and metals; this piece is a dazzling example of the excellence that could be obtained by industriel means.

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