REF NO : B77070

Генри Дассон

A Magnificent Louis XIV Style ‘Boulle’ Centre Table

Франция, около 1880 года


A Magnificent Louis XIV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Ebonised and Cut-Gilt-Brass Inlaid ‘Boulle’ Centre Table, By Henry Dasson, Paris. The circular...


Height: 79 cm (32 in)
Diameter: 128 cm (51 in)
REF NO : B77070


A Magnificent Louis XIV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Ebonised and Cut-Gilt-Brass Inlaid ‘Boulle’ Centre Table, By Henry Dasson, Paris.

The circular green marble top inset within a gilt-bronze surround cast in relief with a repeating fleur-de-lis pattern. The frieze panels each with gilt-bronze frame enclosing a scarlet red ‘Boulle’ panel with cut-brass swept acanthus and husk-chain arabesques around a gilt-bronze mask of Apollo wreathed in laurel. One side fitted with a drawer. Supported on four square tapering legs with gadrooned capitals and ‘Boulle’ marquetry repeated on the arched stretcher arms. The centre of the stretcher with a knop baluster finial. Raised on toupie feet cast with leaves.

Stamped ‘HENRY DASSON’ to the underside.

Stamped metal inventory label to inside of drawer ‘RK 0317’

Франция, около 1880 года.


This large circular centre table is a magnificent example of Henry Dasson’s mastery of the ‘Boulle’ technique. It can be compared to ‘Boulle’ tables that Dasson made for Sir Richard Wallace at Hertford House, of Wallace Collection fame.

Dasson is primarily thought of as a copyist of the highest order, making supremely fine furniture after important eighteenth-century models in the Louis XIV, XV and XVI styles. He also however interpreted the French historical styles to create new designs which captured the essence of ancien regime furniture, yet updated it for late nineteenth century tastes. In this way, the present table evokes the Louis XIV’s style of André-Charles Boulle, but details such as the elongated arched stretcher supports and the large scale of the table, identify it as a creation from the 1870/90s.

Dasson’s mastery of the ‘Boulle’ technique is revealed by the sales of his models and pattern books held following the cessation of his business. The 1ère Vente H. Dasson et Cie., held 9-12 October 1894 of ‘Modèles pour bronzes d’art, Meubles de Style et Grand Décoration’ includes mention of at least ten pieces after ‘Boulle’ including # 369 ‘Grand Armoire Louis XIV de Boulle’ from the Mobilier National, # 390 ‘Commode Louis XIV par Boulle’ from the Château de Fontainebleu and # 439 ‘Grand Table Louis XIV, marquetry de Boulle’ for the Collection Richard Wallace. Another sale of Dasson’s modèles was held ten days later, 23-27 October 1894, and included more pieces in the style of Boulle.

‘Boulle’ furniture by Dasson is most prized and brings high prices. A pair of ‘Boulle’ marquetry cabinets sold recently at auction for 448,100 euros (Sotheby’s, Paris, 30 June 2021, lot 130). Closely related to the present centre table, is a rectangular writing table in a private collection. It has similar marquetry frieze and legs and is signed and dated 1879.

A related table by Henry Dasson, dated 1879 (Private Collection).


Arguably the greatest cabinetmaker of all time, and certainly the most influential, André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) is credited with inventing the technique of veneering furniture with marquetry of brass and pewter inlaid into turtle shell, which has become synonymous with his name. Boulle was already a master cabinetmaker by 1666, and was appointed ‘Ebéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur’ to Louis XIV in 1672.

Amongst those employed in Boulle’s atelier was Jean Mariette, whose ‘Nouveaux Deisseins de Meubles et Ouvrages de Bronze et de Marqueterie Inventés et gravés par André-Charles Boulle’, published in 1707, depicts various prime examples of Boulle’s work at that time and helped assure his legacy as a reference work which informed later cabinetmakers.

‘Nouveaux Deisseins de Meubles et Ouvrages de Bronze et de Marqueterie Inventés et gravés par André Charles Boulle’, circa 1720 (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

Boulle furniture was made by his sons A-C. Boulle the younger (1685-1745) and Charles-Joseph Boulle (d. 1754) and their pupil Etienne Levasseur (1721-1798) who specialized in copying and repairing Boulle furniture and his stamp appears on many Louis XIV pieces. In the nineteenth century the Boulle technique was employed by English makers such as Robert Blake, ‘cabinet inlayer and buhl manufacturer’, and in France by many celebrated ébénistes, notably Henry Dasson (1825-1896).



Около 1880 года




Boulle Marquetry Inlay


Stamped 'HENRY DASSON' to the underside.

Генри Дассон

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.

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.

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