119. Henry DASSON Exceptional middle cabinet... - Lot 119 - Farrando

Lot 119
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Estimation :
30000 - 50000 EUR
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Result : 80 000EUR
119. Henry DASSON Exceptional middle cabinet... - Lot 119 - Farrando
119. Henry DASSON
Exceptional middle cabinet secretary of rectangular shape, opening with a large flap revealing a compartment and four small drawers on two rows. It presents in front a panel in takamaki-e and hiramaki-e lacquer
gold and silver lacquer on a black background decorated with peacocks among flowering branches, the frames highlighted with amaranth.
The slightly curved sides and the back are underlined by reserves in burr walnut veneer in yellow wood fillets. The front jambs are in the shape of an Ibis with spread wings whose legs end in three claws.
The apron has a pattern of feathers facing each other.
The crotch shelf has a marble top with a gallery and a marble top with an upside down cavet.
Ornamentation in chased and gilded bronze such as lingotiere, pearl moldings, apron, uprights in ibis and sabots.
Stamped Henry DASSON.
Late 19th century period.
Japan, Edo period (1603-1868) (early 19th century) for the lacquer panel.
H : 104 cm - W : 114 cm - D : 44,5 cm

The cabinet secretary that we present is the one reproduced in L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, Camille Mestdagh, Les éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 2010, page 36 (fig. 25) and page 314 (fig. 371).
Henry Dasson, in a letter written in 1881 to the president of the board of directors of the Union centrale des Beaux-Arts appliqués à l'Industrie, shows his attachment to the profession of bronzier: "I could only imperfectly appear in the division of wood, being much more a manufacturer of bronzes than of furniture, because I only make them on the condition that the bronzes that decorate represent the greater part of their value.
This piece of furniture, exceptional by its design, is unique in its kind, we do not know to this day any comparable cabinet secretary.
The extraordinary imagination in the conception of the structure of the piece and the audacious decision to create a zoomorphic piece of furniture are of an astonishing modernity. The ibises are perfectly integrated into the structure of the cabinet, the wings and part of the plumage of each animal unfold with the flap, revealing the true function of the cabinet, which remains mysterious when closed.
The unity of the decoration around the birds and their plumage is made possible by the choice of a large Edo period Japanese lacquer panel illustrating a pair of peacocks with long plumage, associated with the gilded bronze apron decorated with clashing feathers and Ibises.
The choice of the waders allows us to assume a dating towards the end of the 19th century. Indeed, it was at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 that Beurdeley exhibited a Chinese porcelain cone vase with a gilded bronze mount of his own design representing herons. As Camille Mestdagh points out, "the theme of waders was in vogue at the end of the century" (see L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, Camille Mestdagh, Les éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 2010, page 183, fig. 208).
Nevertheless, as Henry Dasson did not participate in the 1893 Exhibition, it is probably a piece of commissioned furniture made shortly before he ceased his activity in 1894.
Established at 86, rue Saint-Louis, Henry Dasson is mentioned in the Almanach in 1858 as a clockmaker, probably meaning that he made bronze clock cases.
In 1871, established at 106, rue Vieille du Temple in Paris, Henry Dasson bought the business of the cabinetmaker Winckelsen from his widow. More of a bronzier than a cabinetmaker, he became famous for the quality of the chasing and gilding of his bronze ornaments. He made sumptuous copies of the most famous royal furniture, such as the cylinder desk of King Louis XV.
Rewarded with a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1878, he also participated in the Exhibition of Fine Arts applied to Industry and then in 1882 in the Retrospective Exhibition of the Central Union of Decorative Arts.
Present at the Colonial Exhibition of 1883 as well as the Universal Exhibition of 1889 for which he received a great artistic prize, his last participation in an Exhibition was in Moscow in 1891.
Without a successor, he stopped his activity and organized three large auctions of his goods in 1894, dispersing 1348 lots.

Bibliography :
- PAYNE, Christopher, Paris, the quintessence of furniture in the nineteenth century, Monelle Hayot editions, 2018.
- MESTDAGH, Camille, L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, Les éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 2010.
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