Butterfly Box - Art by Alfred Daguet
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Alfred Daguet
Butterfly Box

ca 1900

About

Daguet’s box is an intricately-worked and fine example of the art nouveau style. To create his butterfly garden, Daguet ties together an awareness of current artistic trends from the British Isles and many earlier antecedents from the Medieval Period. Daguet’s fluid line is evocative of early-Christian illuminated manuscripts while his flowers bring the Mackintosh Rose to mind. As a craftsman in the art of metal-smithing, Daguet shared similar beliefs with Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Arts & Crafts Movement. Working in the machine age, these artists placed a premium on hand-made work. Each sheet of metal is finely shaped using the repousse technique, then it is nailed into place. Creating a unique object, Daguet weaves together flora and fauna as seamlessly as the biomorphic and curving lines around the keyhole. With attention to every detail, Daguet compliments the black and green painted metal by the luminous glass cabochons encrusting this garden of delights as well as the painted interior which is lined with decorative paper. Daguet, the metal smith, is not simply a proud member of a guild tradition, he is a wizard of his craft. His decorative flourishes with the Eyes of Providence and the black and green painted patination on his metal sheets show this alchemist, deeply in touch with the divine mysteries, channeling spirituality via art. Alfred Louis Achille DAGUET (1875 - 1942) was a metalsmith active in Paris during the first part of the 20th century. His metalwork created prior to the outbreak of World War I, noteworthy for its versatility and virtuosity, is the most sought-after among collectors today. Daguet mined many sources for inspiration be they Egyptian, Celtic, Japanese, Byzantine, Medieval or contemporary. He received formal training under the painters, Gerome and Clairin, both academicians associated with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts who had traveled to Egypt and explored themes of orientalism in their work. Daguet’s studio in Paris was located at 22 rue de Provence, just above Siegfried Bing’s influential L’Art Nouveau boutique. It is this association with Bing that is most significant to Daguet’s metier and what firmly places his work in art historical context. As a promoter and purveyor of Japanese objects, Bing capitalized on the craze for japonisme by expanding his commercial galleries from 1895-1904 to include artist workshops capable of making everything conceivable to create harmonious interior spaces. Daguet’s finely-worked repousse copper sheets clad many decorative letter and desk boxes sold at Bing’s shop in the early-1900s. These boxes which Daguet often further embellished with colored glass unquestionably reflect the tenets of the Art Nouveau aesthetic. In addition to boasting famous clientele such as Sarah Bernhardt who followed him to his studio on rue du Faubourg Saint-Jaques following Bing’s death in 1905 and the closure of his store, l’Art Nouveau, Daguet’s work achieved critical success with inclusion in group expositions at the Musee Galliera, Paris, 1905, 1926; Salons of the Societe des Artistes Francais: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1909, 1910; and the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1901.

Details

  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    Signed Alf Daguet, undated. Missing key
  • Dimensions
    H 13 in. x W 11.5 in. x D 5.5 in.H 33.02 cm x W 29.21 cm x D 13.97 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number
    LU46731310923
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About the Seller

5 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Chicago, IL
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