THE NANCY SCHOOL 2:
A marquetry credenza by Louis Majorelle
c.1900; ht 89in/226cm; value code A
1. Is the piece architectural (featuring mainly inlaid decoration), or
sculptural (with mainly carved decoration)?
2. Is decoration based on sinuous natural forms?
3. Are any carved motifs naturalistic?
4. Is the piece signed?
5. Is it hand-made?
6. Is it in an exotic or strongly grained wood, such as mahogany?
7. Is any marquetry of very high quality?
8. Is there a chicory leaf motif, inlaid or carved?
9. On chairs with arms, is the leg part of the armrest?
10. On sculptural pieces, has a lot of attention been paid to the supports?
11. Do pieces feature ormolu (gilt bronze) mounts, especially on the feet or supports?
|Louis Majorelle (French, 1859- 1926)
Majorelle took over his father's cabinet-making business in 1879. His early work was in a Rococo style but as a member of the Nancy School he was influenced by Gallé (see page) and adopted Art Nouveau forms, creating an individual, elegant style. He favoured exotic and strongly grained woods, such as mahogany, and often used gilt bronze mounts. Like Gallé's, his decoration was based on sinuous forms and natural motifs.
On sculptural pieces, such as the carved mahogany side table above, decoration is often restricted to supports. These are reeded here, but. fluted examples are also
common, and legs usually terminate in slightly outswept
feet. The wood grain is used to complement the design and to provide decoration.
|EUGÈNE VALLIN (French, 1856-1922)
Vallin was a cabinet-maker turned furniture designer, and a member of the Nancy School. He
designed interiors, including ceilings,
|panelling and furniture. His pieces tend to be sculptural and imposing, with strong, curved, natural forms and decoration supplied by the natural wood grain. Sinuous stalk elements appear, often in supports|