Credited to Georges Emile Henri SERVANT (1828- circa 1890)
After a model of Edouard LIÈVRE (1828-1886)
Paris, circa 1878
This spectacular jardiniere is a recent acquisition by Androt & Fils and has a wealth of ornamental features, illustrating the mastery and savoir-faire of the Parisian bronze artists during the second half of the 19th century. It also shows the inspiration they drew from using unique materials and exotic decorations.
The large gilt bronze frame with consoles, swirls, chimeras and bamboo leaves is, in part, based on designs by Édouard LIÈVRE (1828-1886), one of the most talented ornamental designers of his time, and a forerunner to Japonism.
Enclosed in its bronze frame, the onyx marble casing is adorned with large cloisonné enamels with oriental-inspired floral and plant designs applied with remarkable finesse.
The use of onyx developed in the 1860s when quarries of this precious translucent marble were discovered in the Oran province. The marble worker, Del Monte, originally from Carrara, came across them by chance during an archaeological excavation. He later sold his concession to the Compagnie des Marbres et Onyx d’Algerie, based in Paris.
By comparing this work with another privately-owned jardiniere, bearing the signature, G. SERVANT Médaille d’Or 1867, has enabled it to be credited to Georges Emile SERVANT (1828 – circa 1890).
Georges Émile Henri SERVANT
Based at 137, rue Vieille-du-Temple, Paris, this prominent bronze sculpture specialized in producing Neo-Egyptian clocks and Greek style decorative objects, which were very popular at the time due to developments in archaeology. He became better known to critics and the public during the international exhibitions of 1855 (Paris) and 1862 (London). He was awarded a Medaille d’Or at the Paris World Exhibition in 1867 and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1874. In 1878 at the World Exhibition, where he was a reporter and jury member, he exhibited vases and pieces of furniture that once again were greatly admired by visitors. He finally retired shortly before the 1889 World Exhibition.