Edouard Lièvre (Blâmont (France), 1828 – Paris, 1886)
Gilded bronze wall sconces patinated in 3 arms of japanese light. Each sconces represent a stylised dragon holding branchs.
Height : 55 cm
While the european interest for the culture and design of the far east had preceded the last quarter of the 19th century. This period knows a high resurgence for the liking of the oriental exotism in the decorative art brought by the opening of Japan and the East and the participation of this nation in the Universal exhibition of Paris in 1867. As the conception of the actual pair of candelabras, the french renewal from japanese and chinese drawing, although the use and interpretation of those elements are entirely parisians and modern for its time period.
On the basis of the stylised composition and the high quality of the cast-iron of the sconces, we can suggest an attribution to one of Edouard Lièvre drawing and Barbedienne’s fabrication.
Born in Nancy, Edouard Lièvre was trained in a workshop of a french academic painter Thomas Couture before switching to the conception of decorative art. His oldest work is the persian vase designed for the Christofle firm in 1874, it was exposed by them in the Paris exhibition in 1878, 1889 and also 1900. Lièvre also designed for the bronze-maker Ferdinand Barbedienne. Among his main customers appeared Sarah Bernhardt, the courtesan Louise-Emilie Valtesse de la Bigne and Albert Vieillard, the director of ceramic factory in Bordeaux and an enthusiast of the early days of Japonism. The furnitures designed for Vieillard included the japanese cabinet currently in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. After his death his domain was sold during two auctions in 1887 and 1890 Those auctions were welcomed by the press: ” since a long time, the art enthusiasts had the occasion to see in the auctions a remarkable collection like the Master who recently died. His creations made history…” (see Connaissance des Arts, n°228, un créateur inspiré par Roberto Polo, page 8). We believe that most of the collection was sold to George and Henri Pannier the owners of the elegant shop “L’Escalier de Cristal”. The brothers Pannier made modified versions of the drawings of Lièvre, including 7 versions of the Japanese cabinet of Vieillard, one of them was sold to the Grand-Duc Vladimir of Russia and is today in the Hermitage in Saint-Petersbourg