« Thistles » Front Door
Height : 220 cm (86,6 in.) ; Width : 109 cm (42,9 in.) ; Depth : 15 cm (5,9 in.)
Rare front door in natural carved oak and wrought and beaten iron painted in black, surrounded by a frieze of thistles in relief in a molded frame. The openwork upper part is decorated with a faun’s head emerging from a rosette adorned with thistles and the panel in the lower part is decorated with thistles and surmounted by a lion’s head.
The decorative repertoire of this door is to be compared to the work of the ironworker Émile Robert (1860-1924), who created the decor of iron thistles of the Vichy bandstand, built by Charles Le Cœur.
Émile Robert is a French Art ironworker, born in 1860 and died in 1924. He arrived in Paris in 1878 during the Universal Exhibition. In the workshop of the locksmith Alphonse-Gabriel Moreau, he was asked to participate in the realization of the banister of the main staircase of the château de Chantilly. In 1887, he exhibited at the Central Union of Decorative Arts. At the Universal Exhibition of 1900, he collaborated with Adrien Karbowsky for the decoration of the « Metal room » of the Decorative Arts pavilion which served as the entrance.
He made the ironwork for the thermal establishment in Vichy, the gate of the Chartreuse cemetery in Bordeaux, the door of the museum of decorative arts at the Marsan pavilion in Paris, some of the railings of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, of the French Consulate in Brussels, the doors of the Institute of Human Paleontology and the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, and his works were sold to the Galliera museum, the museums of Hamburg, Christiana, London, Basel.
Between 1899 and 1903, he created the covered galleries of about 700 meters winding around the Sources de Vichy park, classified as historical monuments in 1994. In 1902, he executed the art nouveau ironwork for the Theater and the Grand Casino in Vichy, and treated the fable The Fox and the Stork on a stair railing of the liner “Paris” and on a railing of the Galliera Museum. He created his artistic ironwork workshop in Enghien-les-Bains in 1914. Member of the National Society of Fine Arts, artistic ironwork was brought up to date at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to his work.
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