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Émile Gallé French Walnut and Fruitwood Marquetry Chest of Drawers


This French Art Nouveau chest of drawers, by Émile Gallé, is a feast for the eye, with simply no details spared. The front of the lovely French walnut chest is decorated in wonderfully detailed fruitwood marquetry of branches and blossoms that climb the composition on diagonals, while the drawers host giltwood brass floral drawer pulls. The top is shaped in the rough shape of an abstracted butterfly and also adorned with vegetal motif marquetry, while the bottom apron of the chest is a maze of openwork carving resembling a tangle of branches with small blossoms attached, a patterning that moves up the legs and also adorns the two side shelves attached to either side of the piece.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: F-19838
Artist: Émile Gallé
Circa: 1900s
Dimensions: 33.5" height, 27.5" wide, 13.5" depth
Materials: French walnut, Fruitwood marquetry, Gilt brass floral drawer pulls
Signed: "Gallé"

The composition of this piece is such as to suggest that it is a living, growing organism, reaching upward toward the sky. The base of the piece, its legs, are rendered in trunk like form, while the marquetry on the front of the piece moves the eye upward in a subtle zig-zag as the blossoms become bigger and berries emerge.