Louis XVI Style Mahogany Centre Table

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Object Description

An Exceptional Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany Centre Table by Henry Dasson.

The table is stamped ‘HD’ for Henry Dasson to the reverse of the gilt-bronze rim.

This elegant and very rare centre table or gueridon by Henry Dasson, is designed in the ‘goût Weisweiler’ and is of exhibition quality, with superb gilt-bronze mounts.

The table has a Verde Antico marble top above a stiff-leaf cast rim and a conforming frieze, which is mounted with allegorical trophies. The top is raised on finely cast and chiselled alternating male and female herm supports, united by an interlaced stretcher and stands on spirally-fluted feet.

An example of this model of table by Dasson, dated 1867, was formerly in the collection of Pierre Lecoules, and is illustrated in D. Ledoux-Lebard, ‘Le mobilier français du XIXe siècle’. An 1884 example, also by Dasson, was sold at Christie’s, London, 29 March 2007, lot 96. Further examples of this model were also made by Dasson’s contemporary Paul Sormani (d.1877).

The exceptional quality of the gilt-bronze mounts to this table epitomise the ‘goût Weisweiler’, much favoured by Dasson and based on the celebrated work of Louis XVI’s maître Adam Weisweiler and his marchand mercier Dominique Daguerre in the eighteenth century.

Object History

Henry Dasson (1825-1896) was one of the finest makers of gilt-bronze mounted furniture in the nineteenth century. Unlike other cabinetmakers of this time Dasson started his career as a bronze sculptor, and for this reason one of the characteristics of his work is the great quality of his bronze and more precisely of the chiselling.

With a workshop established in Paris at 106 rue Vieille-du-Temple, he specialised predominantly in the production of Louis XIV, XV and XVI style furniture using the very finest gilt-bronze mounts.

In 1871, he purchased the flourishing business and remaining stock of Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen, who had established a reputation for furniture of the highest quality. Dasson almost certainly inherited the craft of ciseleur from Winckelsen.

At the 1878 and 1889 Paris Expositions Universelles Dasson exhibited a number of pieces in the Louis XV and XVI styles, as well as pieces of his own modified eighteenth-century design. The exhibits in 1878 included a table entirely in gilt-bronze, purchased by Lord Dudley. His copy of the celebrated Bureau du Roi sold at the same exhibition to Lady Ashburton.

Dasson ceased production in 1894, and at this time held a sale of his models, listed in Catalogues of drawings for art bronzes, style furniture and important decoration with rights of reproduction by Henry Dasson et Cie, manufacturer of art bronzes and cabinetmaker as a result of cessation of production..’ The records from this sale show that Paul Sormani, as well as Joseph Emmanuel Zweiner, Maison Millet and Beurdeley acquired certain drawings and models by Dasson.

Jonathan Meyer illustrates a number of exceptional items exhibited by Dasson in 1889 in his book on the Great Exhibitions.

Object Literature

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise. Le mobilier français du XIXe siècle, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 1989; p. 148.

Mestdagh, Camille & Lécoules, Pierre. L’Ameublement d’art français : 1850-1900, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 2010.

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise. Les Ebénistes du XIXeme siècle, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 1984; pp. 146 – 151.0

Meyer, Jonathan. ‘Great Exhibitions – London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900′, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2006; p. 269, pls. H7, H8, H10: p. 270, pl, H12.

Object Details

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