A Louis XVI Style Centre Table After The Model By Riesener
DimensionsHeight: 71 cm (28 in)
Width: 83 cm (33 in)
Depth: 49 cm (20 in)
A Louis XVI Style Mahogany Gilt-Bronze Centre Table After The Model by Jean-Henri Riesener by Paul Sormani.
Stamped ‘Paul Sormani 10 rue Charlot à Paris’.
This fine mahogany centre table has a lattice parquetry top with a pierced gallery above a gilt-bronze foliate frieze opening to a central drawer flanked by two short drawers. The table is raised on tapering legs terminating in foliate-cast sabots.
The table is a variation on the famous model by Jean-Henri Riesener, known as the Table des Muses, supplied in 1783 at a cost of 6,000 livres for the Cabinet Intérieur of Madame Elizabeth (sister of Louis XVI) at Versailles.
During the Directory, the table was used in the Salle du Conseil des Directeurs; later moved by the Empress Eugénie to the Petit Trianon, where it remains today. The eighteenth century version by Riesener incorporated a marquetry top depicting the muses of Astronomy and Science.
The famous portrait of Riesener by Antoine Vestier (1785), depicts Reisener sitting at the same model of table as the present example.
French, Circa 1890.
Stamped 'Paul Sormani 10 rue Charlot a Paris'.
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-Nicolas 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’.
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.
Alcouffe, Dioin-Tenenbaum, Lefebure. The Furniture Collection in the Louvre’, Vol I, Edition Faton, (Dijon), 1993; p.272.