This unique Japanese-style bamboo tea table was made around 1890 by Daï Nippon, upholstery shop specialized in Japanese style furniture in Paris. It is composed of carved wooden trays and a lower leg structure made of curved bamboo, using the curving technique created by Michael Thonet, a German-Austrian cabinetmaker and industrialist from the 19th century.
This object belongs to Japonism , an artistic movement derived from the influence that Japanese art had on Western art during the second half of the 19th century. Painters such as Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Mary Cassatt were inspired by this movement, as well as architects, and art object creators. As of 1851, the World Fairs contributed to the spread of Japonism in the Western world. This style led to some very colorful works of art and decorations of flowers, birds, dragons, and other animals.
This tea table is inspired by Japanese art in its simple, natural shape, its curved outlines, its material – bamboo – and the engraved and lacquered design and mother-of-pearl settings on the trays. There are slightly abstract, simplified designs of flowers and plants. A white mother-of-pearl butterfly is set in the upper tray.