The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

La Maison FOURDINOIS (1835-1887)

Friday 18 December 2015, by Barbara Cogollos

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Biography :

The house is based in 1835 byAlexandre Georges Fourdinois, descending of a house sculptors on wood Paris.

In 1844, Alexandre Georges Fourdinois associates with English ornemaniste Fossey. Our cabinetmaker brings his technical abilities and business acumen. They split in 1848 without one knows the reasons. Fourdinois remains in the same workshops located rue Amelot in Paris.

In 1867 the house was taken over by the son, Henri Auguste, after having worked collaboratively since 1860 with his father.

Before that he worked with Felix Duban architect who restored the School of Beaux-Arts and the Galerie d’Apollon in the Louvre. Besides, Duban will command Fourdinois father furniture for the restored rooms of the Louvre.

Later, Henri Auguste, wil work in London as a draftsman in the goldsmith Morel and execute models for the bronze worker Paillard.

The house will close his doors in 1887.

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Henri Auguste Fourdinois en 1848

His production :

Universals Exhibitions contribute greatly to the development of the reputation of the house Fourdinois, whether in Paris or London. The house will win the Great medal for the great neo-Renaissance buffet. Critically acclaimed and envied by his peers, the house sets the tone and the way to follow, resulting in the neo-renaissance style.

Renaissance style manifests already in France since Louis-Philippe but knows its influence under Napoleon III. His taste for this style comes not only from the collective passion but also of his collaboration with Fossey and of the passage of him to England in the workshops of the Crace firm. Following this, Fossey made the decision to devote himself to drawing and cabinetmaking in Renaissance style, which greatly influence Fourdinois father.

Alexandre Georges Fourdinois is also saluted by Viollet-le-Duc for his creations that perfectly respect the history of the environment where they must be placed.

The house aims to produce standard furniture but also exceptional pieces . Thus Alexandre Georges Fourdinois becomes one of the appointed suppliers of Empress Eugénie. Among his prestigious customers there are also the Princess Mathilde, the Péreire and Ottinger bankers, the Païva, the Rothschilds, or the Château de Compiègne and Fontainebleau including museums still preserve many examples of their production.

Alexandre Georges Fourdinois becomes one of greatest sculptors and cabinetmakers of the nineteenth century.

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Chambre des reines mères Fontainebleau livrée par Fourdinois en 1860

His particularities :

Alexandre Georges Fourdinois knows very well the history of art as indicated Ms. Samoyault-Verlet, former curator at the National Museum of Fontainebleau castle "Under the Second Empire creators look to the past, which is not new because the past has always been a source of inspiration, but what is new is his exclusive use. All epochs all styles are in fashion." Thus he can easily satisfy the eclectic tastes of his customers. Add to this his technical capabilities and perfect knowledge of the qualities and abilities of materials, especially wood.

The structure is strenght and smart.

The woods used vary: in walnut or ebony and often come from the colonies like the thuya of Algeria.

At the time of production Fourdinois father, production is inspired mostly styles of Renaissance and Baroque as well as Louis XVI.

At first glance opulence of production blinded us, but after further study, we show that it remains consistent and built extremely well and in great detail.

The decorations sculpted are plentiful, also found there the inlaid precious materials, hard stones, wood and mother of pearl is a new process developed by Fourdinois son. This process was enabled by mechanized saws.

Particularity not common, Alexandre Georges Fourdinois execute and draw by himself his furniture.


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Console de style Louis XIV- Vendredi 18 mars 2011- Khon Paris- Alexandre Georges Fourdinois
Estimée 20 /25 000 euros - Pas d’adjudication
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Chambre à coucher de style Renaissance- Vendredi 29 mai 2009- Khon Paris- Henri Auguste Fourdinois
Estimé 15 /18 000 euros- adjugé 20 500 euros
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Bureau plat de style Régence- Lundi 17 mars 2008- Koller Zurich- Henri Auguste Fourdinois
Estimé 33 /60 000 euros- adjugé 40 000 euros

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