Table

  • Designer / Maker

    Manufactured by F. Duvinage, successor to Alphonse Giroux (active 1870-82)

  • Detail

    Brass, pewter and various woods on an ivory ground, the interior lined with the original red velvet. The base mahogany, with electro-gilded mounts

    71.2 x 68.6 cm) x 40.7 cm

    French (Paris), circa 1880

  • Marked

    FD (interlaced) Bte (on lower right hand corner of top)

    MAISON / ALPH. GIROUX. PARIS (along rim of interior)

  • Literature

    Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, ‘Maison Giroux and its ‘Oriental’ Marquetry Technique’, Furniture History, XXXV (1999), fig. 12

  • Collection

    The Art institute of Chicago

  • Notes

    Maison Alphonse Giroux, founded in 1799, was taken over in 1867 by Duvinage and Harinkouck. From 1870, the firm was operated solely by Ferdinand Duvinage and, after his death in 1874, it continued to operate under his widow, until 1882.

    On 4 June 1877, “Veuve Ferdinand Duvinage” filed a ‘Brevet d’Invention [patent] … pour une mosaique combinée avec cloisonnements métallique, pour objets artistiques et d’ameublement …” The application included details of the manufacturing technique and a full-size descriptive diagram.

    This ivory-ground marquetry was probably first shown at the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1878, where it certainly attracted attention.

    According to a contemporary account, the ‘Meubles de luxe” exhibited included “Fantaisie en ivoire cloisonné.  Table, bureau, table nécessaire, meubles élégants pour la peinture.” (L’Exposition en Poche, Paris, n.d. [1878]). These descriptions, the only ones known, are too brief to allow more than speculation that the present table, combining the fashionable Japanese taste with Neo-Classicism, might resemble one of the exhibited pieces.

    A large cabinet is the only other recorded piece of ivory-mounted furniture by Duvinage (see Catalogue sommaire illustré des nouvelles acquisitions au Musée d’Orsay 1980-1983, Paris, 1983, pp.104-5, no. 435).

    In addition, among other known examples of the firm’s work, there are three trays, a variety of tazzas, small plaques, jardinieres, clocks and mirrors.