Rare near pair of bookcase-cabinets
Stamped Sormani à Paris and signed on the lockplates P. Sormani, 10 rue Charlot, Paris
Height : 114 cm (44 3/4 in.) ; Width : 124 cm (48 3/4 in.) ; Depth : 40 cm (15 3/4 in.)
Rare pair of Louis XV style side bookcase-cabinets of exceptional quality made in kingwood and tulipwood veneer, topped with moulded and serpentine shaped « Brèche d’Alep » marbles. Each cabinet is made up of a centering open shelf above two sliding curtain doors ornated with « chevron » motif tulipwood veneer. Flanked on each side by a fine « end-cut » marquetry decorated frieze drawer above a wired mesh door opening onto three shelves. Mounted with fine chiselled bronze ornaments kept in their original gilding. Raised on four cabriole feet.
Paul Sormani, born in Italy in 1817, dead in 1877, specialized at first in the making of small furniture. He installed 1854 his workshops at the n°114 rue du Temple in Paris. The Sormani company knew then a great success and was much in favour with the Imperial Family as well as with the Paris high society. Empress Eugénie furnished then her palaces in the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, with some of Sormani’s creations. Presenting his work at all important fairs, such the 1849 Exposition of the Industrial Products or the Universal Exhibitions from 1855 until 1867, Sormani was then honored by jurys for his « production of high standard quality » and won the highest awards. In 1867, by the time of the great Universal Exhibition, Sormani enlarged and transfered his workshops to the n°10 rue Charlot. When Paul Sormani died in 1877, his wife and son took over the business and from this date onwards pieces are normally signed « Veuve Sormani & Fils à Paris ». After World War I, they went into partnership with Thiébaux and the company premises were then installed at n°134 boulevard Haussmann until 1934.
Les ébénistes du XIXe siècle, D. Ledoux-Lebard, Ed. de l’amateur, 1984, p.583.