The late nineteenth century carved and ebonized side table of beautiful proportions having a single drawer with draught turned knob handles, tapering reeded and substantially well turned legs and double central stretchers, the whole attributed to the designer Daniel Cottier (1838-1891).
The table is in superb condition both structurally and aesthetically, and there are no flaws to report. There is wear to the ebonized finish to the extremities as you would expect but the wear is light and the overall patination is pleasing.
The aesthetic movement can be seen as the bridge to the arts and crafts style. It often had formalised, restrained ornamentation, and was heavily influenced by Japanese decoration, knowledge of which flowed to the West in the nineteenth century through oriental imports. It rebelled against the lavish ornamentation and over-embellishment of the high Victorian period, and sought a purer, more precise level of expression. Imitating Japanese lacquer, Victorian furniture was sometimes stained to make the wood black like ebony. The Aesthetic Movement at this precise period was part of this style.
This table is of the highest order of aesthetic movement furniture, the legs seen here are rather chunky and substantial unlike the more spindly turned legs you may find on other aesthetic movement pieces of the period. It is also less fussy than many other pieces of this period and doesn’t feature any bobbin turned galleries or gilded insets. One one gets the sense it would have been quite a design statement at the time of its conception. It does have some similarities to an occasional table originally designed by E.W.Godwin.
Daniel Cottier (1838-1891) began his career as a stained-glass artist in his native Glasgow, and in 1864 set up his own business as a designer in George Street, Edinburgh before moving back to Glasgow in 1867. His work was said to be influenced by the writing of John Ruskin, the paintings of the Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the work of William Morris. He painted allegorical figures in the Pre-Raphaelite style of Rossetti and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Cottier is considered to be an important influence on Louis Comfort Tiffany and also is credited with introducing the Aesthetic movement to America and Australia. As an independent designer Cottier was involved in decorating furniture as part of a unified scheme for a number of Presbyterian churches in Glasgow. With the establishment of the firm in London, Cottier took on a number of designers and artists, among them Bruce Talbert, who was briefly associated with the firm. In 1870 he set up a branch of ‘Cottier & Co, Art Furniture Makers, Glass and Tile Painters’ in London. Within three years it had opened new branches in the United States and Australia. Little is known about the specific contribution of artists to the making of furniture by Cottier & Co. One such decorator Frederick Vincent Hart also worked for other designers such as E.W. Godwin and this may explain the similarity between Godwin and Cottier furniture, leading to the misattribution of some Cottier furniture to Godwin.
A real collectors piece of design statement furniture which simply oozes quality.