A Magnificent Louis XVI Style Commode Firmly attributed to Henry Dasson of Paris Henry Dasson (1825 - 1896)

H: 40 in / 102 cm  |  W: 54 in / 136 cm  |  D: 20 in / 50 cm


Of gentle break-front form having radiused corners, being constructed in ebony, inlaid with brass fillets, richly decorated Japanese panels decorated in black lacquer and gold hiramaki-e, and sumptuously dressed in fire-gilt ormolu mounts of the very highest quality: rising from circular tapering toupie feet conjoined by a shaped front apron, centrally mounted with an ormolu foliate spandrel; over, a lockable door, with the original key, housing a large Japanese plaque depicting pheasants and foliage, is framed within an ormolu frame cast with a running stiff leaf design, and having flanking smaller conforming doors, enclosing a shelved interior; above, a large ormolu tablet in the Neo-Classical taste, with flanking arcades fronts a concealed drawer opened by an interior spring loaded button; conformingly decorated to the sides, and surmounted with a shaped Carrara marble platform with a thumbnail moulding.
French, Circa 1870


This extraordinary piece of the cabinet makers’ art draws inspiration from the French Royal cabinet makers of the ancien régime, Jean-Henri Riesener, Martin Carlin and Adam Weisweiler, all of whom supplied furniture for the Tuileries, Louvre and Versailles incorporating Japanese hiramaki-e work, a technique in use since the twelfth century that required an extraordinary accuracy, combined with speed of execution to attain a perfect result; even so, failures were frequent, with the resultant loss of the gold dust.


Established at 106 Rue Vielle du-Temple, Dasson was one of the most highly celebrated Parisien bronzier ébénistes. His work is renowned for the fine quality of the metalwork, utilising the designs of the ancien régime, and adapting them to conform to the needs of the times. He participated at the Expositions Universelle in 1878, receiving the laudatory critique of Louis Gonse, the Parisian arbiter of bon ton and quality, ‘nouveau venu dans le carrière industrielle Henry Dasson, s’est rapidement créé par la perfection de ces oeuvres une très haute situation a laquelle nous applaudisons chaleureusement’, at which he exhibited a bureau in the Louis XVI manner decorated with Japanese panels; and 1889, he was awarded the ‘Grand Prix Artistique, and examples of his work were purchased by the English Royal Family. Made a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1883, he was elevated to an officier in 1889, following his success at the Paris Exposition of the same year.

REF No. 8121

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