Christofle et Cie.
A Pair of ‘Japonisme’ Gilt And Patinated Bronze Cache Pots
A Pair of ‘Japonisme’ Gilt And Patinated Bronze Cache Pots, By Christofle et Cie. Designed by Émile Reiber. The large cache pots are finely cast...
DimensionsHeight: 22 cm (9 in)
Diameter: 27 cm (11 in)
A Pair of ‘Japonisme’ Gilt And Patinated Bronze Cache Pots, By Christofle et Cie.
Designed by Émile Reiber.
The large cache pots are finely cast in relief with leaves and insects. The handles are modelled as branches with pinecones. The circular socle and foot inlaid in gold Greek key pattern.
Signed ‘CHRISTOFLE & Cie’ and numbered ‘1083602’ and ‘108360’.
France, Circa 1880.
These unusual cache pots are characteristic of Émile Reiber’s work at Christofle, where he was head of design from 1865. The decoration of pinecones and insects coupled with parcel gilding and brown patination is in the Japanese taste and inspired mixed-metal objects (mokume). They are part of a series of pieces in enamel cloisonne and incrusted bronze exhibited by Christofle at the Union Centrale des Beux-Arts in 1874, where Reiber was awarded a gold medal, and the Paris Expoisiton universelle in 1874. Compare a similar model of jardinière with pinecone handles and foliate decoration to the frieze, in the musée d’Orsay (inv. OAO 1017) and another in the MET (1991.88a, b).
Showing the breadth of sources which inspired his designs, Reiber in his publication Premier Volume des Albums-Reiber, Bibliothèque portative des Arts du Dessin, in 1877 also describes the Greek key decoration to the socles of the present cache pot as follows: “Dans cette décoration, l’influence de la tradition de l’Extrême-Orient parait évident. Du reste, si les vaisseaux du roi Salomon allaient au pays d’Ophir, les flottes Phéniciennes pouvaient bien aller au pays de Sina (Chine)”. He adds: “les fleurs sont parmi les peuples de l’Extrême-Orient, l’objet d’un véritable culte; et ils ont poussé jusqu’au raffinement l’Art gracieux de les disposer dans des Vases”.
Gilt & Patinated Bronze
Signed 'CHRISTOFLE & Cie' and numbered ‘1083602’ and ‘108360’.
Charles Christofle, who took over the business of his brother-in-law Joseph-Albert Bouilhet, established Christofle as silversmiths in Paris in 1830.
From the beginning, in addition to his own design studio, Christofle sought out leading artists, sculptors and ornamentalists, as well as accomplished designers, to create extraordinary pieces and collections.
In 1840 the firm introduced to France the revolutionary technique of silver plating metal by electrolysis. The statues crowning the roof of the Garnier Opera House in Paris are among the most impressive examples of this pioneering technique.
Prestigious commissions from royalty and heads of state, including King Louis-Philippe and Napoléon III, bear witness to Christofle’s success and reputation. Amongst other commissions Christofle made castings for a lady’s writing desk displayed at the 1867 Paris Exhibition and also for a childs cradle purchased by Napoléon III.
Rosenberg, David, ‘Christofle‘, Assouline, (London), 2006.
Ledoux – Lebard, Denise , ‘Les Ébénistes du XIXe Siècle’, Editions de L’Amateur, (Paris), 1984, p. 128.
Mestdagh, Camille & Lécoules, Peter, ‘L’Ameublement d’Art Français, 1850-1900′, Editions de L’Amateur (Paris), 2010.
Meyer, Jonathan, ‘Great Exhibitions – London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900’, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge,UK), 2006.
Blair, Claude, ‘The History of Silver’, Ballantine Publishing Group, (New York), 1987.
Sibel Dorsan, ‘Christofle: A legend revisited’, Diplomat Monthly Magazine, 2006.