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Émile Gallé Chrysanthemum Lady’s Writing Desk


Émile Gallé's marquetry skills are on full display in this French lady’s writing desk, with chrysanthemum marquetry, blooming throughout the French walnut base. The multi-toned chrysanthemum marquetry adorns the desk plane as well as the drawer front, while the three dramatic tiers over the elegant writing station feature a close up of the chrysanthemum on the doors of the cabinet, and then a subtly-toned and ethereal landscape on the top tier. The entire composition is crowned with umbel-like blooms carved with intricate openwork.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: F-19164
Artist: Émile Gallé
Country: France
Circa: 1890
Dimensions: 55.5" height, 29.5" width, 22.25" depth
Materials: French walnut, Fruitwood marquetry
Signed: "Gallé"
Literature: Desk pictured in The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. III: Furniture, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1996, p. 227

This unique piece offers the opportunity to enjoy the breadth of Émile Gallé's ability to create complex beauty out of wood marquetry. In this single piece we are offered a delicately rendered landscape, the bold blooms of a flower in full beauty, and a highly, highly detailed look at an intricate vegetal form. Additionally, we are treated to the master woodworker's ability to carve and intricately employ negative space to complete compositions.