This 20th century French sideboard, from the maker Louis Majorelle, is carved from rich mahogany and elegantly detailed with decorative panels of burl walnut, and a carved 'les algues', or seaweed, motif highlights the organic form of the piece. The upper section is inset with bevelled mirror elements that flank a central bronze seaweed plaque, over a rounded shelf and all above the lower case, which is topped with a rich piece of marble surmounting three drawers with naturalized bronze pulls, over an open shelf and a lower cabinet with bronze keyholes. The sideboard is raised on a stepped base with carved rectangular feet. The French furniture designer Louis Majorelle was born in Toul, near Nancy, in 1859. Louis Majorelle studied painting from 1877 at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Jean-François Millet but, after his father died, he returned to Nancy in 1879 and took over the family furniture-making business, Maison Majorelle. Under the direction of Louis, the elegant furniture forms of his father became heavily influenced by the rise of Art Nouveau aesthetic, as well as the natural elements found in the work of Émile Gallé. In 1900 Majorelle showed an interior he had designed at the "Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris", worked in collaboration with Daum Frères, and in 1901 became deputy of the École de Nancy.
Date: c. 1905
Dimensions: 63 x 56.5 x 19.5 in.