Paul Sormani La Belle Epoque

Brooke Friedman

Paul Sormani, born in Venice in 1817, was trained as a cabinetmaker and moved to Paris opening his first shop in 1847. Under the patronage of Empress Eugenie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III, Sormani created superior works in the Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI styles, copying the originals and surpassing their quality. Known for his meuble de luxe (deluxe furniture), Sormani received a “medal of premiere class” at the 1862 Exposition Universal in London, opening doors for his creations to be sold around the world.

When viewing Sormani’s pieces, pay close attention to his fine detail, the deep bronze chiseling, and the beautifully matched boulle work. See the delicate scrolling movement of his bronze mounts across a tea table (lot 1104)  and note the classic symmetry of the French style. His name will often appear on one side, sometimes on the reverse, and engraved on the interior lock plates.

Paul Sormani died in 1877, leaving his business to his wife and son. From this date onward, the firm’s pieces were normally signed “Veuve Sormani”, and Sormani’s quality and style were continued to perfection. The firm thrived for more than ninety years. Sormani’s surviving family stayed true to the meuble de luxe standard of quality making it very difficult, after his death, to date each work. However, due to the changing times, the firm closed its doors in 1934, ending an old-world era.

Lot 1104 is offered in the January 24th Gallery Auction. Click here for full auction listings and bidding links.
For more information about this piece, or any other in the auction please contact,
by, Mark Boultinghouse
Furniture Specialist
(240) 277 – 9752


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