Cabinet-maker & Bronze-caster
Rare “arabesque with children musicians” chandelier
Signed and dated 1888
Height : 130/150 cm (51/59 in.) ; Diameter : 70 cm (27 1/2 in.)
A very fine Louis XVI style chandelier called “Arabesque with Children Musicians”, made in finely chiselled and gilded bronze. Composed of a torch-form standard with three seated putti playing the pipes, centered by an acanthus-cast pendant suspending berry clusters. Beautiful scrolled branches forming the six light arms. Hung by three linked chains to a foliate corona.
Model by P. Gouthière (1732-1813), made around 1780 for the “Cabinet intérieur de la Reine”, also named “Cabinet doré” of Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles Palace (preserved in situ).
(Commented and reproduced in H. Ottomeyer, Vergoldete Bronzen, T. I, Klinkhardt & Biermann, Munich, 1986, p° 238, and in P. Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIeme siècle, p.92 et p.340)
Behind her “Grand Appartement”, the queen had small rooms reserved for private use and service of her maids. When she was at Versailles, it was in her inner cabinet – the largest of the private rooms of the queen – Marie-Antoinette withdrew most often to receive her children and her friends, to play music, or to pose for Madame Vigée-Lebrun, her favorite portraitist. This inner cabinet is also called golden cabinet, because of the profusion of gold on paneling made by the Rousseau brothers, bronzes and furniture executed by Riesener and Jacob.
As a cabinet-maker and a bronze-caster, Henry Dasson executed in his Paris workshop sumptuous copies of royal 18th century models and some pieces of his own modified 18th century design. He used for his pieces of furniture and « objets d’art » the very finest ormolu mounts with high quality mercurial gilding. He purchased the firm of the cabinet-maker Charles Winckelsen upon his death in 1871 and mainly produced in the Louis XV and Louis XVI style. His participation at the Paris 1878 Universal Exhibition was highly remarked with a Louis XVI style table, all in bronze and considered as a « chasing masterpiece », and a copy of the famous King Louis XV desk (original piece exhibited at the Versailles Castle). At the 1889 Universal Exhibition, he won a « Grand Prix » for his beautiful furniture.