Skip to content

Émile Gallé Two-Tiered "Dragonfly" Table


This two-tiered table by Émile Gallé features four legs that are the carved bodies of dragonflies, their wings outstretched and frozen mid-flight. The top of the table rests solidly on the dragonflies' heads and wings, with a fluid curvature in the corners, creating a crown for the winged creatures' heads. Marquetry on the table top depicts delicately blooming flowers on long-leafed stems, with shadows of foliage in the background. Decoration in darker tones and larger, starker motifs, decorate the lower tier, playing on the shadows in which it is naturally shrouded.

Add to Wishlist

  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Artist: Émile Gallé
Circa: 1900s
Dimensions: 29.25" height, 31.75" width, 22.25" depth
Materials: French walnut, Fruitwood marquetry
Signed: "Gallé"
Literature: Similar table pictured in Gallé Furniture, by Alastair Duncan and Georges de Bartha, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 2012, p. 207, plate 192a

The dragonfly works of Émile Gallé provoked very strong critical reaction when they were debuted in the 1900s, with champions of Art Nouveau lauding the modernity of the dragonfly as caryatid, while detractors were horrified by the very idea of insects as table legs. Time has certainly found favor with this design, as it has found its place of pride in museum collections around the world.