PALISANDER, CARVED EBONY & EBONIZED WOOD CABINET - CARVED EBONY TOTEMSby Marcel Coard (1889-1974)
France, circa 1925
57" high; 70" wide; 19 ½" deep
A palisander cabinet in three sections with five drawers on either side and central locked compartment with shelves surmounted by three open niches. There are eight solid ebony carved totems - four in front and two on each side. The incredible quality of the carvings are probably the work of wood sculptor Gaston Etienne Le Bourgeois, usually famous for his animal subject sculptures, but who also created pieces of furniture for Jacques Doucet and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann. The drawer pulls are also solid carved ebony. Jacques Doucet was Marcel Coard's patron and reinforced his interest in tribal art and encouraged him to collect African and Oceanic masks. This cabinet was probably designed for a tribal art collector. The African influence is found not only in the use of two tints of wood, the deep black color of ebony and the warm veins of palisander, but also in the presence of carved elements inspired by African totems. This piece illustrates Coard's ability to combine an African influence with a truly modern and refined piece. It has an original key with MC monogram.
Collection of Bob Walker
Amélie Marcilhac, "Marcel Coard Décorateur", Les Éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 2012, p. 90 illus.
$400,000. - Inv. #16