An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed


An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed

c. 1889 France

Offered by Adrian Alan

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An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Double Bed by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener.

Stamped ‘E. ZWIENER’.

Forming part of an important and very rare bedroom suite, comprised of an armoire, a double bed, and a dressing table , all with fine marquetry inlay.

This important and magnificent double bed, exemplifies the furniture maker's master artisanship and exhibits distinct similarities to another Zwiener bedroom suite, commissioned circa 1898 for Kaiser Wilhelm II, sold at Sotheby's, New York, June 29, 1989 and which is now in the permanent collection of Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin.

Zwiener's work is remarkable for its organic, sculptural quality. In this he demonstrates a tendency toward the principles of combining the traditional Louis XV rococo style of the 18th century with the ultra-modern, contemporary Art Nouveau, representing a careful balance between decorative and compositional vocabulary, the stylish and the functional.

Zwiener's innovations are apparent in the detailing of this magnificent bed, such as in the flowery gilt-bronze borders of the end-cut marquetry reserves. A rose rests below a scallop-shaped crest of two doves on the swan-neck-form headboard, while a single hibiscus flower graces the footboard and cast foliate chutes of bare-breasted espagnoletes emerge from each corner.

In 1895, Zwiener was summoned to Berlin at the request of German emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) at Schloss Neues Palais, Sans Souci, Potsdam. Among the works the Kaiser would commission was a gilt-bronze mounted tulipwood marquetry kingwood bedstead, circa 1895, with gilt-bronze work attributed not to Messagé, but to Otto Rohloff. This piece was exhibited at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900 [see: L' Exposition de Paris (1900), Encyclopedie du Siècle, Montgredien et Cie, Paris, Vol III, p. 288]

Although he admired the work of Parisian cabinetmakers, Kaiser Wilhelm II preferred the work of German craftsmen. Zwiener had produced a copy of a bureau du roi for Ludwig II in 1884, prior to receiving his summons from this Kaiser, but given that there were a number of notable German craftsmen working for the court at the time, Wilhelm's interest in Zwiener was significant. Always keen to tout the ideals of a Franco-German unification, Wilhelm was probably intrigued by the fact that Zwiener, a German, had found such success in Paris. The Kaiser's commission must have likewise been a strong inducement for Zwiener, who had spent so much of his professional life away from home.
‘L'Exposition de Paris (1900), Encyclopedie du Siècle’, Vol III, Montgredien et Cie, Paris, 1901, p. 288 and p. 300 for an engraving of a double bed with similarities to the one in the present lot, exhibited in the German pavillions at the Palais des Invalides.

H. Kriesel, ‘Die Kunst des Deutschen Möbels, Möbel und Vertäfelungen des deutschen Sprachraums von den anfägen bis zum Jugendstil’, C.H. Beck, Munchen, 1973, pl. 908 for an contemporary photograph showing the Wilhelm II bedroom suite taken circa 1904 at Schloss Charlottenburg.

‘Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten Berlin’, Eine Schlafzimmer-Ausstattung von Julius Zwiener. Ein Auftrag Kaiser Wilhelms II. fur das Berliner Schlösser 1895-1900, H. Heenemann & Co., Berlin, 1989.

D. Ledoux-Lebard, ‘Le Mobilier Français du XIX Siècle’, pp. 645-648 for J. E. Zwiener. See also p. 645, where Ledoux-Lebard mentions under the Collection Particulière de Mr P. Lécoules, a Louis XV style bedroom suite, which is the present lot.

Dr. Jurgen Julier, ‘Kaiserlicher Kunnstbesitz aus dem Holländischen Exil Haus Doorn’, Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin 1991, p. 196.

Camille Mestdagh, Pierre Lécoules: ‘L'Ameublement d'art français : 1850-1900’; Editions de l'Amateur, 2010; pp. 301-305.

C. Payne, ‘19th Century European Furniture’, p. 42.

Christopher Payne, 'François Linke, 1855-1946, The Belle Époque of French Furniture', 2003., p. 244.
Height 167.00 cm (65.75 inches)
Width 174.00 cm (68.50 inches)
Depth 221.00 cm (87.01 inches)
Stock Code
Each piece stamped ‘E. ZWIENER’.
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
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