the luxury market of the 19th century
Despite the upheavals of the first decades of the nineteenth century, Paris soon recovered its position as a leading centre for furniture and design in Europe, a position that was to grow and strengthen as the century wore on. Encouraged by royal and imperial regimes, exhibited at the great international fairs, and collected by international aristocrats, bankers and newly wealthy industrialists, Paris furniture by the second half of the century had once again become synonymous with luxury and exquisite craftsmanship. Furniture makers drew their inspiration from a vast array of historical periods and cultural sources to create new and exciting designs that both appealed to the eclectic tastes of the nineteenth-century amateur and yet suited the demands for comfort and convenience of the luxury consumer. Building on the generations of skills and techniques that had characterized French furniture during the years of the Ancien Régime, contemporary makers exploited technological advances and new materials to produce some of the most creative and inventive pieces ever made, often surpassing the quality achieved by previous generations.
At the core of the book is a survey of over one hundred Paris-based firms, amongst which Sormani, Baguès, Barbedienne, Christofle, Lièvre, Viardot, Dasson, Grohé, Sauvrezy, Fourdinois, Beurdeley and Linke, producing meubles de luxe for an international clientele that at its height spanned all corners of the world, from Santiago to Delhi and Alexandria to New York. The author also lifts the veil on lesser-known makers such as Mazarozer and Ternisien et Dantant, and reveals important new discoveries about firms that have been all but forgotten for the last century. Individual entries for each maker provide factual information on such details as dates of production, types and styles of furniture, any identification marks, exhibiting history and known patrons. Additionally the author, a well-known authority, draws on his extensive knowledge of nineteenth century furniture to describe each maker’s particular style and elucidate any characteristic techniques or materials that may help with an understanding of the work and future attribution. Most importantly, however, each entry is accompanied by well-chosen images, intended to help describe a particular maker’s œuvre and contribute a visual record to augment the text.
- 24 x 28 cm
about 1 500 illustrations
- Hardbound under laminated jacket