Like the side chair designed by Hector Guimard, seen just to the left of this cabinet in the bottom photo of this post, Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard’s Display Cabinet (1900) incorporates bold, animated, plant-like forms in its decoration. Gaillard exhibited similar furniture at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, also known as the Exposition Universalle, which helped popularize architecture and domestic objects with fluid lines and whiplash curves.
Cabinet Design Detail
This cabinet was part of a larger set of dining room furniture that would have been marketed to both middle and upper-middle class consumers. A key idea of design reform at the turn of the 19th century was that well-designed objects should not be reserved only for the wealthy.
These superb Wrought Iron Gates (circa 1900) by Emile Robert (French 1860 -1924) are rendered by hand in the curvilinear Art Nouveau style, which originated in northern Europe in the late 1890s and flourished until World War I. The revival of interest in wrought iron work in this period was inspired by the beautiful, ornate, Rococo gates and fences around the main square and garden of the French city of Nancy, an early center of the Art Nouveau style. The butterfly motif in these gates is indicative of the main influences of Art Nouveau design: observation of the natural world and motifs popular in Japanese art.