A very rare pair of Louis XVI style exhibition gilt-bronze mounted Bonheur Du Jours with lacquer panels, by Henry Dasson.
One cabinet signed ‘Henry Dasson / 1880’ to the gilt-bronze border. The carcass stamped twice ‘HENRY DASSON/1880’.
These exceptional and very rare pair of cabinets each have brèche brocatelle violette d’Espagne marble tops and superb panels of hiramakie (low relief) and takamakie (high relief) Japanese Nashiji lacquer.
Dasson exhibited a related pair of bonheur du jours at L’Exposition internationale d’Amsterdam in 1883 and was awarded a diplome d’honneur for the superb quality of his craftmanship. The bonheur du jours, which were mounted with ‘old Japanese lacquer’, are visible in a gravure in the Revue des arts decoratifs, showing the French pavilion.
Aventurine lacquer work or Nashi-ji is a form of Japanese maki-e that is frequently employed as a background to gold or black Japanned decorative elements. The technique so called as it resembles the sparkling quartz of true Aventurine is created by gold or silver flakes called nashiji-ko being sprinkled onto the surface of the object (excluding the design), on which lacquer has been applied. Lacquer is then applied and burnished so that the gold or silver can be seen through the lacquer. The name nashi-ji is thought to have originated from the resemblance that the lacquered surface bears to the skin of a Japanese pear, nashi.
French, dated 1880.