Henry Dasson (1825-1896)
Established at 106 rue Vielle du-Temple, Dasson was one of the most highly celebrated Parisian makers of gilt-bronze mounted furniture in the nineteenth century.
Dasson began his career as a bronze sculptor, and 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 la carrière industrielle Henry Dasson, s’est rapidement créé par la perfection de ces oeuvres une très haute situation a laquelle nous applaudisons chaleureusement’ [newcomer to an industrial career, Henry Dasson has quickly achieved a favorable and highly-regarded position for himself by virtue of the perfection of his pieces, which we warmly applaud]
Lord Dudley and Lady Ashburton were among his renowned clients at the exhibition. He was awarded the ‘Grand Prix Artistique’ at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, 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. Dasson ceased production in 1894, and the enduring reputation of the finest maker of gilt-bronze mounted furniture was echoed and acknowledged when his contemporaries Paul Sormani, J.E. Zwiener, Maison Millet, and Beurdeley all jumped at the chance to acquire drawings and models by Dasson. Nevertheless, the pieces created by Dasson remain without equal, and stand at the epitome of nineteenth-century French furniture.