Cheminey screen, Painted Wood, Lacquer and Bamboo, circa 1880
This extraordinary cheminey screen or screen probably came from the great French manufacturer Perret et Vibert, famous at the end of the 19th century for its unique production of rattan or bamboo furniture and Japanese objects. This screen or large screen shows a real finesse of execution: the decoration, different on each side, is made in a Japanese spirit appreciated to the manufacture. This piece truly recalls the great Asian lacquers and illustrates the factory’s ability to reinvent shapes while preserving the authentic charm of the Far East.
From the middle of the 19th century, forced by the United States, Japan opened up to the world after more than 200 years of decline. The West is fascinated by this exotic world. Japanism is fuelled by print books and travelers’ testimonies that circulate throughout Europe. It gives birth to a whole new ornamental repertoire and new types of objects. This phenomenon affects all arts including furniture, ceramics, painting etc.. The exoticism dear to the Second Empire explains the craze for exotic materials such as bamboo, rattan, lacquer etc. and forms adapted to Western interiors.