Art Nouveau designed Upright piano by Pleyel Wolff et Cie Paris
Pleyel Wolff et Cie Paris France Upright piano serial number 124068 in an Art Nouveau case of Pygraved Dog Rose and Rose hips finished the year 1900. We continue our search for more information to who may have been the artist of this Beautiful piano
A Satin-wood case covered in Rose-vines and flowers framed by Rose stems and the rose hips burned and stained with natural green leaves, pink roses, and red fruit of the rose. Supported by stunningly designed and sculpted leg supports following a bouquet of Rose hips. Center top panel having a menorah designed branches of rose hips. In all a unique piece of art exhibiting the case of a musical instrument.
Pyrography or pyrogravure is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning.
The term means “writing with fire”, from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing). It can be practiced using specialized modern pyrography tools, or using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight concentrated with a magnifying lens. “Pyrography dates from the 17th century and reached its highest standard in the 19th century. In its crude form it is pokerwork.”
A large range of tones and shades can be achieved. Varying the type of tip used, the temperature, or the way the iron is applied to the material all create different effects. After the design is burned in, wooden objects are often coloured. Light-coloured hardwoods such as sycamore, basswood, beech and birch are most commonly used, as their fine grain is not obtrusive. However, other woods, such as maple, pine or oak, are also used. Pyrography is also applied to leather items, using the same hot-iron technique. Leather lends itself to bold designs, and also allows very subtle shading to be achieved. Specialist vegetable-tanned leather must be used for pyrography (as modern tanning methods leave chemicals in the leather which are toxic when burned), typically in light colours for good contrast.
Following the 1900 Exposition, the capital of Art Nouveau was Paris. The most extravagant residences in the style were built by Jules Lavirotte, who entirely covered the façades with ceramic sculptural decoration. The most flamboyant example is the Lavirotte Building, at 29 avenue Rapp (1901). Office buildings and department stores featured high courtyards covered with stained glass cupolas and ceramic decoration. The style was particularly popular in restaurants and cafés, including Maxim’s at 3 rue Royale, and Le Train bleu at the Gare de Lyon (1900).
The city of Nancy in Lorraine became the other French capital of the new style. In 1901, the Alliance provinciale des industries d’art, also known as the École de Nancy, was founded, dedicated to upsetting the hierarchy that put painting and sculpture above the decorative arts. The major artists working there included the glass vase and lamp creators Emile Gallé, the Daum brothers in glass design, and the designer Louis Majorelle, who created furniture with graceful floral and vegetal forms. The architect Henri Sauvage brought the new architectural style to Nancy with his Villa Majorelle in 1898.
The French style was widely propagated by new magazines, including The Studio, Arts et Idées and Art et Décoration, whose photographs and color lithographs made the style known to designers and wealthy clients around the world.
In France, the style reached its summit in 1900, and thereafter slipped rapidly out of fashion, virtually disappearing from France by 1905. Art Nouveau was a luxury style, which required expert and highly-paid craftsmen, and could not be easily or cheaply mass-produced. One of the few Art Nouveau products that could be mass-produced was the perfume bottle, and these continue to be manufactured in the style today.