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Émile Gallé "Aux Grenouilles" Marquetry Umbrella Stand


This French Art Nouveau "Aux Grenouilles" stand for umbrellas and walking sticks, by Émile Gallé, incorporates frog, or "Grenouille," handles and feet in cast bronze, a decorative fillip that provides an otherwise utilitarian piece of furniture with a novel and charming appeal. The stand's feet are syntheses of the legs of a pickerel frog and the feet of a lion. The front of the marvelous piece is divided into three separately sized vignettes, the largest of which, taking up the entire left side fo the composition, depicts a gentle, abstracted vegetal scene with a simplified dragonfly swooping through stylized plant forms. The bottom right vignette, executed in darker, earthier tones, more legibly captures a landscape of mushrooms, while the very top right scene, interestingly carved in deep relief, appears to be a fully abstracted and highly stylized depiction of a beautifully amorphous natural form.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: F-19869
Artist: Émile Gallé
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 27.5" height, 18.25" width, 9.5" depth
Materials: French walnut, Fruitwood marquetry, Gilt bronze ormolu hardware
Signed: "Gallé"
Literature: Similar "Aux Grenouilles" umbrella stand pictured in Gallé Furniture, by Alastair Duncan and Georges de Bartha, Antique Collectors' Club, p. 287, Plate 5

While Émile Gallé's artistic antecedents created chimeric creatures of their own, their fabrication was more of a fantasy than a representation of reality. By the turn of the century, the rapidly developing field of microbiology had rendered the creation of chimeras a foreseeable event.