Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener

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Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener (1848- 1895) was one of the leading furniture makers of the end of the nineteenth century. Of German extraction he established a very successful studio in Paris, producing the very finest furniture, often inspired by the public collections in France. He employed as his sculptor, Léon Messagé, the genius Parisian sculptor.


Zwieners pieces were acquired by many of the leading collectors of the nineteenth century. In particular he supplied his interpretation of the famous Bureau de Roi to Ludwig II at Herrenchiemsee, which was placed in the King's study in 1884.


Zwiener exhibited at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, where he was awarded a gold medal, for a stand which included an exceptional cabinet designed by Messagé (illustrated in Meyer, pl. H14).


In 1898, Zwiener received an extensive Royal commission from the King of Prussia, and was recalled to Berlin as the King would not order furniture from overseas makers when furnishing his palaces, preferring to order work only from native Germans. The Berlin Sculptor Otto Rohloff, whose bronze work is very similar to that of Messagé, may well have been hired by Zwiener for this Royal commission.


In 1895 his Paris workshop was taken over by the important émigré and ébéniste, François Linke. Christopher Payne, in his book on Linke, speculates that Linke may have worked for Zwiener when he first arrived in Paris in 1875. Linke is known to have also taken on Zwiener's sculptor Léon Messagé. For this reason many of Zwiener's pieces have often been mistakenly attributed to Linke.


In order to differentiate between Messagé's commissions, the gilt bronze mounts were often marked to the reverse with the maker's initials. Several of Zwiener's mounts have been found to have a 'Z', ' Zw', a 'IZ', 'NZ', 'ZN' or a 'ZJ' on the reverse. This was primarily for the purpose of differentiation, rather than an artist's signature. Some of Zwiener's work was stamped but not exclusively, and only a few pieces have been found with a full signature and /or a date.


It can be speculated that Zwiener continued to work in Germany, after giving up his Paris workshop in 1895, as in 1900 he participated in the German section of the Paris Exhibition, where he exhibited the famous bedroom suite made for the Kaiser.


Makers Bibliography:


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


Payne, Christopher (2003), François Linke, 1855-1946, The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Antique Collectors' Club, (Woodbridge).


Meyer, Jonathan, Great Exhibitions - London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900, Antique Collectors' Club, (Woodbridge); 2006, p. 270, pls. H14; p. 299, p.302.


Maze-Sencier, Les Livres des Collectionneurs, (Paris), 1885

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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Fine Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Commode
A Fine Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Purpleheart and Marquetry Commode With A Brèche Violette Marble Top, By Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. Thi...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Fine Louis XVI Style Five Drawer, Marble Top Chiffonier
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Five Drawer, Marble Top Chiffonier By Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. The bronze handles stmaped with the le...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Kingwood and Parquetry Inlaid Writing Table W...
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Kingwood and Parquetry Inlaid Writing Table With Wedgwood Jasperware Plaques, In the Manner of Jean-Henri Riesen...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Fine Pair of Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Card Tables
A Fine Pair of Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood, Satiné and Marquetry Card Tables by Joseph Emmanuel Zwiener, The bronze mounts designe...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Rare Kingwood Wall Vitrine
A Rare and Unusual Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood Wall Vitrine by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. The vitrine has a domed top with gilt...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Rare Pair of Louis XV Style Kingwood Vitrines
A Pair of Louis XV Style Kingwood Vitrines with Rich Gilt-Bronze Decoration of Foliage and Acanthus Leaves, with Green Benou Breche Marble Tops At...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
A Very Fine Marble Top Marquetry and Gilt-Bronze Commode
This exceptional commode has a brêche de Saint-Maximin marble top and is veneered with bois de violette, bois de bout and floral marquetry on sati...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Armoire
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Armoire by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. The armoire is of bombe shape with an arched bro...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Armoire
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Armoire by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. Stamped ‘E. ZWIENER’. Forming part of an im...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Double Bed
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Double Bed by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. Stamped ‘E. ZWIENER’. Forming part of an...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Dressing Table
An Exceptional Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood and Marquetry Dressing Table by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. Stamped ‘E. ZWIENER’. Forming part o...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Important and Exceptionally Rare Empire Style Salon Suite
An Important and Exceptionally Rare Gilt-Bronze Mounted Empire Style Mahogany Salon Suite by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. This fine salon suite comp...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Important Pair of Louis XVI Style Vitrines with Wedgwood Plaques
An Important Pair of Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Kingwood Vitrines with Wedgwood Jasperware Plaques, by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. This ra...
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JOSEPH-EMMANUEL ZWIENER (c.1848-1895)
An Unusual Gilt-Bronze Mounted Heart Shaped Bijouterie Table
An Unusual Gilt-Bronze Mounted Heart Shaped Bijouterie Table by Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener. This very unusual table was made by both François Linke ...
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