Empire style

In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became Emperor and therefor french art was experiencing a renewal. In order to legitimize his new status, Napoleon needed to reconnect with Monarchy's splendor. His new model was inspired from the Antique Rome and Egyptomania. Iconography attached to this style were : Sphinx and sphinxes, lions, eagles, swans, bees, stars, palms, lyres and of course the initial of Napoleon "N" surrounded by laurels.
Great monuments were made with simple, straight and clean lines, using rare marbles and semi-precious stone such as marble, porphyry, malachite and lapiz lazuli. Gilt or silver mounted bronzes were also associated.

The Emperor architects and ornementalists Percier and Fontaine, and the cabinetmakers family Jacob imposed an official ornamental vocabulary. The furniture were monumental and massive, often made out of mahogany; a new type of objects appeared, such as the ship bed, psyche or athenian. The jambs are often sword shaped or ornamented with a claw, it is very common for the fireplaces of this period, often made in beautiful and rare marbles.

Charles GREBER (1853-1935)

This well-known ceramist was born in Oise, a region of France. He developed the family manufactory, created by his father in 1870, which growth significantly during this period.

Beauvais is a French city were salt glazes stoneware was used in everyday life, this is why it was produced at the Gréber Manufactory. But Charles became well-known for another production : flame glazes stoneware.

His work can be divided in two categories : architectural ceramic (indoor and outdoor) in the Art Nouveau style, and pottery.

The Gréber family

Since 1846 the Greber family was established in Beauvais, renowned for its pottery production.

The first to settle there was Johann Peter Greber (1820-1898), a sculptor who participated actively in this region's projects. In 1868, he was given permission to establish an oven to "bake art carved into clay" thus founding the "Beauvais sandstone Manufacture" in collaboration with his sons Paul and Charles Greber.

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Coromandel lacquer

Coromandel lacquer is a chinese technic, painted and carved on a surface made of several layers lacquer of different colors.

This art had an apogee during the late 17th century. Chinese junks loaded with paravent and cabinets were delivered in Coromandel harbor, and then to Europe. Rich buyers were interested in those items only for the lacquered panels. Those objets were dismantled and used to embellished occidental furnitures, and especially commodes during the 18th century.