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The Lécoules Collection: 19th-Century Art with Dasson and Beurdeley

Published on , by Anne Doridou-Heim
Auction on 18 March 2022 - 14:00 (CET) - Salle 1 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

The Lécoules Collection provided a platform for cabinetmakers of the second half of the 19th century, led by Henry Dasson (1825 -1896).

Henry Dasson (1825-1896), rectangular occasional table known as the "Table des Arts",... The Lécoules Collection: 19th-Century Art with Dasson and Beurdeley

Henry Dasson (1825-1896), rectangular occasional table known as the "Table des Arts", veneered in amaranth or “purpleheart” wood, with four quiver-shaped legs decorated with term-like caryatids, each representing an allegory of the arts, apron decorated with a chased gilt bronze frieze, top in Egyptian porphyry, Louis XVI style, dated 1889, 80 x 98 x 58 cm/31.5 x 38.6 x 22.8 in.
Result: €106,500

It was act 2 of the Pierre Lécoules Collection sale, after the first auction on October 9, 2019, featuring pieces from his store, which ended with total proceeds of €1,104,253. This time the contents of his apartment were in the spotlight. With his personal furniture, the Parisian dealer's keen eye had selected most of the great decorative arts masters from the second half of the 19th century, including Emmanuel Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919), Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener (b.1849) and Paul Sormani (1817-1877). This session saw the creations by cabinetmaker Henry Dasson take flight, notably with €103,900 for an airy cabinet secretaire with legs in the form of ibises—whose wings graced the cover of La Gazette—and €106,500 for the rectangular occasional table veneered in amaranth or “purpleheart” wood, a piece illustrating the very best of the Louis XVI style produced during the 19th century. Its four quiver-shaped legs sporting term-like caryatids, each representing an allegory of the arts—Music, Painting, Sculpture and Poetry—gave the name "Table des Arts" to the model presented for the first time at the 1880 Exhibition of French Industrial Products. It would be hard to find a more fitting example: the cabinetmaker demonstrated his talent to the hilt here. This copy is dated 1889, the year of the Paris Universal Exhibition, for which Alfred Picard (1844-1913)—also president of the juries for the event—wrote a glowing general report: "Mr. Dasson, whose universal credit defies all comparison, presents us with a remarkable exhibition in which the styles of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI flourish with aplomb." Further on, he cites "his small Louis XVI table in old mahogany with a porphyry top and four legs formed by fine chased bronze statuettes". It is tempting to equate it with this model, this time acclaimed with €106,500.

While Dasson favored the ibis; Emmanuel Alfred Beurdeley, aka Alfred II (1847-1919), chose another exotic bird. The ostrich in question le

While Dasson favored the ibis; Emmanuel Alfred Beurdeley, aka Alfred II (1847-1919), chose another exotic bird. The ostrich in question lent its silhouette in multiple forms to support a pair of chased gilt bronze seven-branch candelabras (81.5 x 45 x 45 cm/32.x 17.7 x 17.7 in), which garnered €40,263. These highly striking pieces are exact replicas of the ones executed by François Rémond for the second Turkish cabinet of the Comte d'Artois in Versailles (delivered in 1782). Other examples are referenced, but the precise number produced by Beurdeley's company is unknown, though they were certainly commissioned.

Henry Dasson also produced this rectangular cabinet secretaire, with a large drop leaf over a cavity and four small drawers in two rows. W

Henry Dasson also produced this rectangular cabinet secretaire, with a large drop leaf over a cavity and four small drawers in two rows. With a façade decorated with a gold takamaki-e lacquer panel—enlivened by peacocks on a tree trunk—framed in violet wood, and frontal columns in the form of ibises with spread wings, whose legs end in three claws, this airy desk expresses the very best of late 19th century eclecticism combining Far Eastern influences with memories of the previous century. It was sold for €103,900.

Friday 18 March 2022 - 14:00 (CET) - Live
Salle 1 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009
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