MANLY ANTIQUE CENTRE
Our pieces were moved to Australia by an Italian family in the mid
20th century. The family had reputedly owned them since new (around 1900).
This said I think they are French although the Italians were absolutely
crazy about this new French Art Nouveau style when it first came out and
referred to it as 'Liberty Style' after the shop in England (Liberty of London) who
heavily promoted the Art Nouveau style in its infancy.
Liberty's was always ahead of the game and consistently backed the latest
and most avant-gard products to hit the design scene.
The closest examples I can find after extensive research were produced
by the French masters like Louis Marjorelle, Emille Galle and Hector Guimard.
There were many designers who put their stamp on Art Nouveau from all over
the world and Italy had of course their own proponent Carlo Bugatti but his
work looks a bit more Moorish in style.
Of course known pieces by these guys go for tens of thousands of dollars, if you can get them.
The inlays in Marjorelle pieces are a bit more intricate perhaps but the gilded
BRONZE metalwork on this hallstand is every bit as good as the high-end pieces.
In fact there is a desk for sale in the USA at the moment whose handles are
very similar in design to the rails of the walking stick holders.
The organic coat hooks are works of art in their own right and are all
undamaged although the original gilding has all but worn away with
use as would be expected on a functional piece of hall furniture.
The rails that would hold walking sticks in place are also beautifully
shaped into a twisting organic form.
The condition overall is very good with only some OLD evidence of worm
i.e. tiny holes in a few areas mainly around the base but they are long gone
and not obvious unless you shine a torch on it and stick you face
There are a couple of small patches and hairlines to the inlays but once
again they are not obvious when you stand and look at it and in reality
for a piece that is used to hold coats, hats and wet umbrellas it is
in amazingly good condition.
The hallstand measures an impressive 238cm high and 127cm wide.
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