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Folding Desk (France)

This is a Folding desk. It was designed by Emile Gallé and manufactured by Etablissement Gallé. It is dated ca. 1900 and we acquired it in 2013. Its medium is various woods. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This folding desk and the side chair nearby are examples of French art nouveau furniture sold to American shoppers at Chicago’s department store Marshall Field & Co. Gallé opened a small woodworking shop in 1884–85 where these pieces were created. The desk showcases Gallé’s inlay work and passion for nature,
while also highlighting the piece’s utility, shown by two small folddown shelves to support inkwell and pens.

It is credited Gift of Harry C. Sigman.

  • Autofold Cane (USA)
  • rubber, elastic cord, aluminum, iron, reflective tape.
  • Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 306619.10.
  • 14.2012.9
  • Staircase Model (France)
  • mahogany, ebony, pear or sycamore, oak; biscuit porcelain.
  • Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.
  • 2007-45-12
  • Folding Chair (USA)
  • carved, joined and turned wood or mahogany, woven wool upholstery, metal tacks.
  • Gift of Marilyn Friedman.
  • 2000-74-1

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Bud Vase Vase
  • mold-blown and acid-cut cameo glass.
  • Gift of Jacqueline Rea in memory of Dr. Robert Roux-Delimal.
  • 1974-105-1
  • Side Chair (France)
  • pearwood, various woods (marquetry), upholstery (replaced).
  • Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Patterson.
  • 1979-54-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 99.1 x 61.6 x 52.1 cm (39 in. x 24 1/4 in. x 20 1/2 in.)

It has the following markings

On work surface; incised signature "Emile Galle Nancy" with a large "V" separating the components of the name, with "E" and "G" separated by a Cross of Lorraine.

Cite this object as

Folding Desk (France); Designed by Emile Gallé (French, 1846–1904); Manufactured by Etablissement Gallé; various woods; H x W x D: 99.1 x 61.6 x 52.1 cm (39 in. x 24 1/4 in. x 20 1/2 in.); Gift of Harry C. Sigman; 2013-21-5

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Botanical Expressions.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Folding Desk (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=10 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>