A Parcel Gilt and Cloisonné Enamel Gueridon In The Manner Of Christofle & Cie.
This fine gueridon has a circular top inset with a striking Japanese turquoise ground cloisonné panel of birds in flight and perched on the branch of a prunus tree, with a characteristic interlocking wan-emblem background. The pierced apron is finely carved with ‘C’-scroll cartouches and raised on four ebonised and parcel gilt cabriole legs headed by foliate sprays. The legs are united by a ‘C’-scroll stretcher and terminate in acanthus carved feet.
This gueridon epitomises one of the most fashionable styles during the Nineteenth century: ‘Japonisme’. East Asia had a major influence on Western culture and its decorative vocabulary during the extraordinary flourishing of creative imagination witnessed during the second half of the Nineteenth Century. The importance of East Asian symbolism was paramount for these new pieces: every decorative element had its own important symbol that recalled its Eastern roots.
The prunus mume flower, or plum blossom, visible on this fine gueridon, were well-loved symbols of the arrival of spring in East Asia, notably in both China and Japan where their early emergence during the cold weather came to symbolise perseverance and hope, as well as beauty and purity. The blackbirds, most likely swallows, are also auspicious symbols of spring, bringing with them good luck to the household. The number of birds is also pertinent, with six being a lucky number in China that brings good fortune.
French, Circa 1900