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A Throne from China

Published on , by Sophie Reyssat

A lavish chair carved in zitan achieved the highest bid alongside art nouveau objects.

China, 19th century, imperial throne in zitan, stepped backrest carved on each side... A Throne from China

China, 19th century, imperial throne in zitan, stepped backrest carved on each side with dragon heads facing each other among leiwen motifs, recalled on the armrests and the solid legs, crossbar decorated with three stylized bats on each side, 103 x 106.5 x 63 cm/40.55 x 41.92 x 24.80 in.
Result: €206,080

This 19th-century throne carved in zitan, a rare wood highly popular during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) and often reserved for imperial use, did not go unnoticed at €206,080. The stately seat features auspicious dragons—symbols of the emperor and the sky—a right-angled spiral leiwen pattern evoking lightning and a motif of bats—whose name is a homonym of the Chinese word for happiness. There were other fine results as well. A mushroom lamp by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau with floral decoration and a wrought iron frame with fluted motifs soared past its €3,000 estimate to €21,896. Sculptor, ceramist and glassmaker Argy-Rousseau put pâte de verre back in the forefront in the 1910s, featuring naturalistic motifs to which he long remained faithful. Rousseau’s technical innovations allowed him to play with textures, marbled effects and shimmering colors, such as the mauve and red shades here (h. 31 cm/12.20 in). The Art Nouveau spirit inspired Maurice Bouval’s pair of gilded bronze candelabras cast c. 1898 by "Thiébault Frères, Fumière et Gavignot successeurs", which fetched €18,032. Called Obsession or Rêve (Dream), its women with vine-like bodies seem to be one with the branches carrying the lights (h. 50 cm).

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