Pair of Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Vitrines de Milieu

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Object Description

A Rare and Important Pair of Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Vitrines de Milieu by Paul Sormani.

Signed to the locks ‘P. SORMANI, PARIS, 10 rue Charlot’.

Of oval shape, this very rare and elegant pair of centre vitrines where designed to be viewed in the round. They are of the very finest quality typical of Sormani’s best work, with superb gilt-bronze mounts.

Each vitrine has a stepped entablature, centred by a tablet with a ribbon tied floral garland and trophy above a glazed bombe door enclosing an interior fitted with an adjustable glass shelf. The corresponding glazed sides and back are divided by fluted pilasters with finely cast gilt-bronze foliate and berried clasps. The apron of the vitrine is set to each side with a finely cast gilt-bronze plaque depicting putti at play and fronted by a single drawer. They are raised on fluted tapering legs, united by an oval undertier and put down on acanthus sabots.

Object History

Born in Venice in 1817, Paul Sormani (1817-1877), was a Parisian maker of fine ‘meubles de luxe’. His work was described in the catalogue of the 1867 Exposition Universelle as: ‘toute sa production révèle une qualité d’exécution de tout premier ordre’ (all of his production reveals a quality of execution all of the first order’).

Sormani exhibited at the International Exhibitions in Paris in 1849, 1855, 1867, 1878 and 1900, and in London in 1862, winning numerous medals.

Paul Sormani established the firm in 1847 at 7 Cimetière Saint-Nicholas in Paris, moving in 1854 to 114 rue du Temple, and in 1867 to 10 rue Charlot.

After his death in 1877 Sormani’s son Paul-Charles took over the business that later moved to 134 Boulevard Haussmann.

It can be difficult to date Sormani’s work, as the firm produced furniture for nearly ninety years. However, when Paul Sormani died in 1877, his wife and son took over the business and from this date onwards pieces are normally signed ‘Veuve Sormani & Fils’.

Object Literature

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

Meyer, Jonathan. Great Exhibitions – London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2006.

Ledoux – Lebard, Denise. Les Ébénistes du XIXe siècle, Les Editions de L’Amateur, (Paris), 1984; pp. 583-588.

Object Details

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