Viardot Opium Bed (SOLD)

Signed G. Viardot, made in Paris, France

Circa 1885

The bed is in the form of a shishi, a japanese temple guardian; with his fierce staring gaze, flaring nostrils and bared teeth, he is warding off evil spirits. The rear of the beast is formed by a pierced scaly tail scrolling forward to form two armrests. This fantastical piece of furniture is in the form of a whole creature with muscular sides and clawed feet acting as legs to the bed. This is a magnificent example of the work of Gabriel Viardot, who specialised in exotic furniture influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese styles, Vietnam being one of France's most important colonies. He advertised as 'createur des meubles dans le genre chinois et japonais'.

l 170 cm w 94 cm (67 in x 37 in)

Art and Design in Europe and America 1800-1900 Victoria and Albert Museum 1987

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