In stained beech wood and gilded bronze.
With a shape made up of curves and counter-curves, this stool is strongly influenced by Far-Eastern works, particularly Chinese or Japanese furniture. Consisting of three shelves brought together with the four feet, this little piece has a completely original profile, with a narrowing in the upper part. The upper shelf is the smallest. The middle is decorated with latticed panels, just like the lower table. The feet are trimmed with gilded bronze ornaments, also influenced by Japanese bronzes. The completely wooden parts are engraved with scrolls, like the center of the middle shelf whose engraving adopts a scalloped profile. The shapes of this stool, as well as the latticed wood and the bronze decorations are to be compared with a cabinet conserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London (W.17:1, 2-1971), signed by Gabriel Viardot and dated in 1888. The bronze of this stool can also be compared with those of a showcase for this cabinetmaker, preserved in the Musee d’Orsay (OAO 1652).
The stool that we present here is completely characteristic of these “Chinese-Japanese style pieces” in its shape and latticed frames. Around 1880 – 1890, the production of Viardot became less exuberant and marked a return to the symmetry and straight lines. This stool demonstrates this return towards greater sensibility.