181. Gervais-Maximilien-Eugène DURAND
Writing table with desk of rectangular form decorated
with Japanese lacquer panels hira maki-e and taka
maki-e with gold and silver decoration of aquatic plants
and landscapes on a black background. It opens with two
secret drawers opening by a hidden push-button and
a desk. The gilded bronze feet in caryatid
are joined by a spacer decorated with interlacing.
Ornamentation in chased and gilded bronze.
Stamped G. DURAND.
Louis XVI style, end of the XIXth century, after the model
the model made by Adam Weisweiler for Marie-Antoinette.
75 x 82 x 46 cm.
The model which was used by Gervais Durand is the famous
made by Adam Weisweiler in 1784 and delivered by the merchant
merchant Dominique Daguerre to the Garde-Meuble
of the Crown. This table is now kept in the Louvre Museum
du Louvre (inv. OA 5509), was once destined for the inner cabinet of
of Marie-Antoinette in the Château de Saint-Cloud.
Sold during the revolutionary sales, it was acquired by the Empress
by Empress Eugenie in 1865, then transferred to the Louvre in 1870.
This iconic piece of furniture of the decorative arts, combines precious
precious Japanese lacquer, finely chiseled and gilded bronze ornaments
gilded bronze ornaments, which were expressly modeled by François Rémond.
The structure of the piece of furniture is very characteristic of the innovative taste of the
of the time, introduces the spacer with interlacing, of English
English inspiration. Mrs Patricia Lemonnier, in her reference book on the work of
reference work on the work of Weisweiler, lists eleven different
different forms of spacer. The very characteristic design of
the spacer of this writing table is used by Weisweiler only on two
on two tables.
Proof of its success, many cabinetmakers in the 19th century
made slavish copies of this illustrious table, among others Beurdeley
Beurdeley, Dasson, Fourdinois, Gouverneur, Lexcellent,
Millet, Zwiener. Beurdeley presented a writing table on his
stand at the Chicago Exposition of 1893, another one by Lexcellent was
was shown at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris.
Among the many collectors, let us quote in particular
Cornelius II Vanderbilt who acquired one of these tables for the
tables for the Petit Salon of his New York home at the corner of
Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.
Let us also mention the Empress of Russia who, in 1901,
bought a writing table from Millet, now in the Hermitage Museum.
in the Hermitage Museum.
It is the World Fair of 1889 which consecrated the career of
of Gervais Durand with the obtaining of a silver medal.
In 1902, he joined forces with his son Frédéric-Louis, who succeeded him
who succeeded him around 1920 and in turn became associated with his son Pierre,
until the closure of the company around 1933.
A table of this model, stamped DURAND was sold at
Drouot (Beaussant Lefèvre, 18/06/2010, lot 226).
- LEDOUX-LEBARD, Denise, Les ébénistes du XIXe siècle
1795-1889, Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1984.
- LEMONNIER, Patricia, Weisweiler, editions Monelle Hayot,
- PAYNE, Christopher, Paris, La Quintessence du Meuble au
XIXe siècle, éditions Monelle Hayot, Paris, 2018, page 214.
- ZEISLER, Wilfried, The French art and luxury object in Russia
(1881-1917), éditions Mare & Martin, Paris, 2014.