8076 AN IMPORTANT GILT BRONZE MOUNTED CENTER TABLE INSET WITH A PORCELAIN PLAQUE ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH NIGG Vienna. Circa 1810. Measurements: Height: 28 1/2″ (72.5 cm) Width: 37 1/2″ (95 cm) Depth: 25″ (63.5 cm)
Of veneered satiné and gilt brass mounts with inset porcelain panel almost certainly by Joseph Nigg. The rectangular top with moulded edging set to the centre with an oval panel depicting flowers in a basket above a frieze set with a single drawer, the frieze interspersed with porcelain tablets, the two circular plaques to the reverse of Sèvres biscuit porcelain depicting Venus and Cupid, the single Wedgwood oval tablets to the sides of dancing nymphs, the two rectangular Wedgwood plaques to the front inside a lozenge panel depicting Juno and Jupiter, and Minerva and a Muse, the tablets flanking an escutcheon centring a mask in the form of half figures carrying a chain and issuing flowers, the corners set with stylized foliate mounts continuing to four square tapering legs, with mounts in the form of stylized leaf-star with berry springs, each leg with later applied square block, mounted with patera, each leg terminating in a shaped and moulded gilt bronze foot.
The plaque that forms the centrepiece of the present table can be firmly attributed to Joseph Nigg (1782 – 1863) as a result of its close similarity to another plaque painted by Nigg, marked on the reverse as Composé et peint par Jos: Nigg, peintre de la manufacture I:R. à Vienne , circa 1834.1 Both plaques depict a range of flowers spilling from a basket and are of comparable colouring, composition and style.
Joseph Nigg was active in the Viennese manufactory between 1799 and 1848, and is regarded as the most accomplished flower painter ever to work there. His work is characterised by depictions of lush arrangements of flowers and fruit, frequently in vases standing on a marble slab. In using this imagary Nigg was following in a pictoral tradition practised at Meissen, Fürstenberg and many other European porcelain producers; he also reproduced the work of flower painters such as Van Huysum, as well as his own easel paintings. Nigg extended his work to painting on vases and other forms, but is most celebrated for his plaques.
1. Red Cross Antique & Art Exhibition, 1955, no. 121.