A Superb Régence Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Side Cabinet With Lacquer Panels, Firmly Attributed to Sormani.
This large and imposing side cabinet has a shaped Rouge des Flandres marble top above a frieze fitted with three drawers. Below are four cupboard doors each mounted with superb Chinese floral lacquer panels in gilt-bronze frames.
The unusual and striking lacquer panels depict symbolic Chinese flowers.
The first panel with Hemerocallis (day lily) and wild rose.
The second panel with Chrysanthemum.
The third panel with Peony, Morning Glory and Bamboo.
The fourth panel with Lotus.
The present cabinet forms a pair with a signed example by Sormani, in the collection of Pierre Lecoules.
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'.
French, Circa 1890.