Edouard Kreisser

BIOGRAPHY

Édouard Kreisser (fl. 1843-1863), established his firm in Paris at 30 rue Neuve-du-Luxembourg in 1843, moving three times, finally to the prestigious rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore in 1862. This last address in a fashionable retail district was probably a showroom rather than a workshop, and reflected the patronage Kreisser received from both the French and English Royal families. In 1844 King Louis Philippe purchased "un dessus de baignoire" set with Sèvres plaques, for 2,000 francs. The following year a jardiniere was purchased for the rooms of the duc d'Aumale at the Tuileries (1,000 Francs). In 1846 the duc de Montpensier complimented Kreisser that he was was very satisfied with "l'exécution des objets d'art qu'il lui avait commandés". The firm was granted Royal Appointment to "sar la reine des Francais, fournisseur des Princes et de la famille Royale".

Kreisser exhibited in the Exposition des produits de l'industrie francaise in 1844 and again at the 1855 Exposition universelle which was France’s answer to the British success of the Great Exhibition, which had been held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, in 1851. In 1855 Queen Victoria visited the Paris Exhibition with the Prince Consort, to underline the new relationship with France under the Second Empire. The Royal couple stayed at Saint-Cloud as guests of Napoléon III and developed a warm relationship with the Imperial family, especially the Queen and the Empress Eugenié. On her return to London, Queen Victoria ordered from Kreisser, a table with marquetry, porcelain plaques and gilded and silvered bronze mounts, costing 2,500 francs as a Christmas present for Prince Albert in 1855. The porcelain plaque to the front carries their joint monogram 'VA' and is today in the collection of the V&A Museum, London (W.9-1964). Queen Victoria also purchased a porcelain-mounted side cabinet by Kreisser for 8,000 francs. It is also in the Louis XVI revival style and decorated with sixty Sèvres style porcelain plaques, which the Queen gave to her husband on his birthday, 26 August 1856, and remains in the Royal Collection at Osborne House (RCIN 1448).

At the 1855 exhibition Kreisser showed "des porcelaines avec montures de bronze doré, entre autres un trés beau bureau et une table avec peintures sur porcelain" (J. Cherbuliez, Promenades dans l'exposition universelle de 1855, Paris, p. 74). Published on 24 October 1855 the newspaper La Presse on a visit to the 1855 Exhibition records a crowed gathered to admire the stand of M. Kreisser, whose workshops will be occupied fulfilling an order for “la reine d'Angleterre”. The pieces being made for Queen Victoria will, together with other commissions for a most notable mansion in Ireland, first be shown at the shop of M. Kreisser at 52, rue Basse-du-Rempart. The article praises M. Kreisser as a true artist, having drawn and made himself all the objects, and with astonishing skill, mixing wood, bronze, porcelain, paint and all the richness of art. The manufacture of one piece, a bonheur, is complimented for the application of bronze and "porcelaines en pâte".

Kreisser settled a 10,000 fr. claim over ownership of models with the bronze maker Victor Paillard in 1852. By 1861 Kreisser was still advertising as "fournisseur de toutes les cours étrangères", but a year later a small notification of an auction of "ameublements et meubles d'art de M. Kreisser" appears to represent the cessation of the firm.

Bibliography:
Payne, Christopher, 'Paris Furniture, the luxury market of the 19th century', Éditions Monelle Hayot, Paris, pps. 408-409.
Jervis, Simon, 'Art & Design in Europe & America', Herbert Press, 1987, pps.94-95
Ledoux-Lebard, Denise, 'Les Ebenistes du XIX Siecle', Paris, 1984. pps 395-6
De Bellaigue, Geoffrey, 'Victoria buys French in 1855', 'Antique Collector', April 1975.
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