H: 64 in / 163 cm | W: 51 in / 129 cm | D: 18 in / 46 cmDescription
A Lacquer-mounted Cabinet on Stand
in the Louis XVI Manner
by Maison Kriéger of Paris
Constructed in mahogany, and dressed with fine cast and chased ormolu mounts, made with exceptional refinement, imported Lacquer Japanese panels, and having a light Swedish green marble top, the cabinet of gentle breakfront form rising from spiralling toursade feet joined together by a serpentine stretcher bearing a woven bronze basket and supporting the fluted baluster legs, the frieze housing one lockable drawer flanked by two spring-action activated drawers. The corners bearing the famous ormolu caryatids bearing flower baskets designed by Adam Weisweiler flanking the tripartite front inset with black & gold lacquer panels of landscapes within stiff-lead moulding and revealing an adjustable shelved interior. Signed twice “Kriéger Paris.”
French, circa 1905
This cabinet is a masterful rendition of the Louis XVI style promoted by the great Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820), primarily inspired by the cabinet he made for King Louis XVI for his Cabinet Intérieur at Versailles in 1784, one of the most private parts of the palace complex. Like it’s earlier counterpart, the cabinet-on-stand celebrates the beauty of Far East lacquer panels, which have been valued in Europe for centuries. Other shared features are the distinct gilt bronze caryatids, the mille-rais plaques and ormolu fluting on the legs.
Interestingly, Kriéger deliberately chose to divert from the design of the Weisweiler cabinet, choosing instead to incorporate features seen in other important Louis XVI-period commissions, such as those delivered by the celebrated marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre to Marie Antoinette and the cabinet made for the King of Naples made circa 1790.
The present cabinet is a rare, yet successful, model carried out and exhibited by a number of the best Parisian ateliers of the 19th century. An example shown in 1883 in Amsterdam by Henry Dasson was later acquired by the English Royal Family, and it is possible Kriéger acquired the bronze models at Dasson’s dispersal sales of 1894.
Maison Kriéger exhibited a nearly identical, yet less ornate, example at the Exposition Universelle in Brussels in 1910, where they were awarded the Grand Prix for their Louis XVI style salon. The present cabinet is of superlative quality, incorporating a greater amount of Lacquer panels, a breakfront cornice, and a more refined shaped undertier with woven bronze basket.
Running one of the largest furniture workshops in all of Paris, the firm of Maison Kriéger was founded in 1826, and continued into the early 20th century producing some of the finest Empire style furniture as well as modern interpretations of Louis XV and Louis XVI styles. They attended and displayed at most of the major exhibitions of the 19th century, including the Great Exhibition of 1851, as well as Paris '67, Paris '78, Paris '89, Chicago '93, Saint Louis 1904, and Brussels 1910.
Payne, Christopher. Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century. Château de Saint-Rémy: Éditions Monelle Hayot, 2018, p. 418, illustrating a nearly identical secretaire exhibited at the 1910 Brussels exposition universelle.
Mestdagh, Camille, and Pierre Lécoules. L'ameublement d'art français: 1850-1900. Paris: Les Éditions de L'Amateur, 2010, p. 213 fig. 247, p. 216 fig. 253, illustrating the model as shown at the 1910 exposition universelle.
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