This fine ebony side table was created by Paul Sormani, a leading Italian cabinetmaker in the 19th Century who was based in Paris. Sormani produced ‘de luxe’ (luxury) furniture, typically fashioned in the Louis XV and Louis XVI style, as we see in this piece.
The top and sides of the table are veneered in rosewood and decorated with ivory inlays, whilst four ebony legs carry the weight of the table top. The legs have turned feet and the stems are fluted, tapering outwards slightly before they meet the similarly turned tops. Above, the table legs, on the corners of the piece, are slender, vertical rosewood panels, which feature swirling ivory motifs. Slim, horizontal rosewood veneers span the length between these corners. The front panel is similarly decorated with a scrolling foliate ivory inlay, positioned at its centre. This front piece can be pulled open to form a drawer, which is signed on the lock plate ‘Vve P Sormani & Fils, 10, r. Charlot, Paris’.
The top of the table features a parquetry composition, where the grain of the rosewood planks have been aligned to form a decorative diamond shape. At the centre, there is an elaborate inlaid ivory motif, which consists of two volute forms, created from scrolling vines, decorated above and below with similar foliate patterns. This central motif is framed within an ivory and ebony border, ornamented to its four corners with floral ivory patterns.
Owing to the elegance and refinement of the design, this piece could be used effectively in either an antique or contemporary interior.