A Very Fine Pair of Gilt-Bronze Mounted Side Cabinets With Sèvres-Style Porcelain Panels.
French, Circa 1860.
A Very Fine Pair of Gilt-Bronze Mounted Side Cabinets with Sèvres-Style Porcelain Plaques. Each cabinet with a shaped white marble top above a gilt-bronze foliate running border. The cabinet is centred to the front by a pair of cupboard doors opening to reveal an interior fitted with an adjustable shelf. The quarter veneered doors are centred by gilt-bronze foliate frames containing finely painted Sèvres-Style oval panels. The chamfered corners are similarly decorated with porcelain plaques; the sides with gilt-bronze ribbon tied trophies.
The porcelain panels depict pastoral scenes and floral sprays within bleu celeste borders. The fashion for porcelain mounted onto exquisite pieces of furniture was first brought to the novelty seeking Parisian connoisseurs by ébénistes working for the principal marchand merciers around 1760. The pioneer was the celebrated marchand mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier, working chiefly with the ébéniste Martin Carlin, who ordered his first plaques in 1758. These items were rare and sought after even at the time of their production, and most examples now reside in museum collections.
Poirier's partner and successor Dominique Daguerre was the largest purchaser of Sèvres plaques and took over what was a virtual monopoly on porcelain mounted furniture well into the 1790's. Not only did they order the materials direct from the Sèvres factory, but they also selected the cabinetmaker to execute the piece, often supplying him with designs in the form of detailed drawings.
The nineteenth century saw a revival for this fashion in porcelain-mounted furniture. Eighteenth century plaques were often available to buy and many dealers would alter existing pieces or make new ones specifically to receive the plaques. The best known of these dealers were Edward Holmes Baldock, Nicolas Morel and Tatham in England, and in France, A.L. Bellanger, Vaché and Jules Piret.
Payne, Christopher. 19th Century European Furniture, Antique Collectors Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 1989.