(End of the 19th century)
Japanese style Bed and its Nightstand
Tinted alder, Mother-of-pearl, Ivory
Bed – Height : 193 cm (75,9 in.) ; Length : 217 cm (85,4 in.) ; Width : 170 cm (66,9 in.)
Mattress – Length : 197 cm (77,5 in.) ; Width : 155 cm (61 in.)
Nightstand – Height : 124 cm (48,8 in.) ; Width : 52 cm (20,4 in.) ; Depth : 32 cm (12,6 in.)
Exceptional Japanese-style bed in carved and tinted alder inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory and with rich asymmetrical decoration. The headboard is decorated with flowering cherry branches and a large threatening dragon resting on a large crescent moon. The footboard is decorated with engraved and intertwined bamboo, wild animals in a crescent moon surrounded by clouds. The decor is enhanced with mother-of-pearl butterflies and birds, all evolving in stylized windings. The whole rests on four legs ending in volutes.
This bed is accompanied by a matching nightstand, made up of asymmetric shelves and opening to a drawer and a door with carved decoration, all underlined by stylized openwork friezes. Surmounted by a dragon encircling a moon, it rests on four feet ending with animal paws.
This bed is most certainly the result of a collaboration between the Maison Viardot, specializing in the creation of Japanese-inspired furniture and for which it has been awarded many times at the Universal Exhibitions, and the company Dai Nippon.
Founded at 3 and 5 boulevard des Capucines in Paris in 1889, Daï-Nippon was a furniture manufacturing company. Inspired by Chinese and Japanese arts, and using materials imported from Asia such as Tonkin mother-of-pearl or Chinese lacquer that the company incorporated into its furniture made in France, it specialized in works of art and furniture linked to “Japonism” so appreciated by enthusiasts of the time. This “Japanese and Chinese company” specialized in “the complete installation of Japanese and Chinese apartments”, importing bamboo, raw materials, art objects and bamboo furniture directly from the Far East.
At that time, the Parisian headquarters were headed by Charles Roullier, who is mentioned as being the only representative of Daï Nippon for Europe. In 1893, the Parisian director of Daï Nippon was Eugène Augot. The company seems to grow then as it offers “furnishing in all styles”.
It seems that it was at this time that the Parisian headquarters started its own furniture manufacturing, with local craftsmen. However, it kept its original activity, continuing to import furniture and objects from China and Japan thanks to its purchasing counters throughout the Far East: Shanghai, Canton, Hong Kong, Yokohama, Kobé and Nagasaki. Its furniture ranged from garden furniture to indoor furniture, in bamboo, bronze or wood.
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