An exceptional inlaid walnut wood, gilt metal and verre eglomise buffet designed and created by Baptistin Spade, French c1940. The back of this buffet bears the B.Spade, Decorateur, Paris metal tag (see pics).
The front is a gently curvaceous bow shape with small black leaf detail inlaid to the doors, centred on a gilt metal leaf spray. The lower apron is also curved and centrally finished in gilt metal covering. The concave sides feature a three stripe gilt wood band detail and draw the eye to the elegant pointed oval feet. The top is inset with a bordered verre eglomise glass that is two toned and speckled in browns and gold colours. On closer inspection this piece is exceptionally well made and of outstanding craftesmanship. The interior features veneered oak shelves.
This piece is in complete original condition with no modifications or additions. The original deco key locks the cupboard doors.
Rare, beautiful and practical.
Baptistin Spade 1891 - 1969.
Baptistin belonged to a generation trained in the fine tradition of French furniture craftsmanship. All his works were of the highest quality and production. A particular feature of his work, is his attention to detail and proportions, ensuring that the simplest works are thus elegant.
Baptistin Spade was born in Marseille in 1891 and in his younger years worked in this father's attelier shop, helping with upholstery ad tapestry. Later he enrolled in the l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts and developed a love of sculpture and design.
In 1908, following his study period, he settled in Paris in the less popular Latin Quarter and reinvented himself as a decorator. A short while later, with the help of his younger brother Honore, he opened a workshop and shop where he could design, craft and sell his own furniture. To many his designs were transitional, bridging the gap between modern and classic C18th and C19th aesthetics and he rapidly became popular, developing a steady and loyal clientele.
By 1914 business was booming, which meant that he and his brother were able to move to the wealthier 16th arrondissement. This decision catapulted Baptistin to the top of the industry and helped him to gain many more customers and clients including those of the Paris elite. Even in the 1930s, despite some fellow designers and decorators struggling, the business remained strong, finally allowing them to move the whole attelier, craftsmen, cabinetry and design offices into a single warehouse in the stylish and fashionable Trocadero.
Baptistin's designs were not only commissioned for private clients throughout Europe and the Americas, but also for specialist projects for both maritime, aviation and ministerial companies.
He also created specialist pieces for banks, insurance companies, and governments. One of his larger projects for example was for the prestigious Mobilier National, where he was commissioned to create large furniture collections for its ministries, including the French Foreign delegations, the Ministries of Labor and Finance, the Merchant Navy and including embassies in London (UK), Pretoria (South Africa), Ottawa (Canada) and Warsaw (Poland).
Some of the thirty or so ocean liners Spade was commissioned to decorate included the DeGrasse, Ile’de’France, Liberte, Flandre, as well as the Normandie.
Baptistin Spade worked until 1958. Upon retiring he left his business to his sons and died some time later in Paris in 1969.
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