Signed by the sculptor of Italian origin Victor Aimone, this carved walnut desk was made circa 1890-1900.
Neo-Gothic style, this desk is fully carved. The upper part is closed with a door carved in high relief representing a scene from the book written by Victor Hugo "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame", published for the first time in 1831. On the right side, the young Esmeralda is shown dancing, his tambourine in hand. Behind her, her goat Djali is perched on its hind legs. On the left side, a young nobleman, richly dressed sits on her throne.
The scene represented is from the chapter "The danger to confide his secret to a goat" where Esmeralda, mocked, was invited to dance in front of the young Phoebus and Fleur-de-Lys Gondelaurier.
The representation of Esmeralda is directly taken from the engraving by Gustave Brion for Hugues edition of 1877 of the book by Victor Hugo (see illustrations).
Born in Novara in Italy in 1860, Victor Aimone is active in Turin and then in Paris in 1890, when his workshop is located at 16 rue de Vienne. Then it is successively located at 37 rue de Rome in 1897 and 5 rue Dareau in 1910. He participated at the Salons of French Artists since 1897 until the First World War. He gained a great notoriety and earned several orders as this armchair now kept in the church of Saint-Maurice in Ile-Bouchard. Paul-Émile Miot (1827-1900), in 1896, following the redeployment of the Navy Museum in 19 rooms of the Louvre, personally orders to Aimone four sculptures on the theme of the four continents. These sculptures are now kept in the Navy Museum in Paris.