This hearth screen bears the stamp of the famous luxury store the Escalier de Cristal.

Three figures are depicted on the side with the shelf. The print on the left depicts Two children on New Year's Day.  It bears the stamp of Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) and can be dated from 1842.

The print on the right, portraying a woman who wiping her face and leaving a public bath, is almost contemporary with the previous one. It is dated 1843 and was created by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864). 

On the reverse side are two women facing each other: on the left is Fashionable beauty, also the work of Utagawa Kunisada who, from 1844, took the name of his master Tokoyuni. On the right, opposite, is a Woman in a boat under the full moon. It is the most recent print on the screen, dated 1865 and bearing the stamp of Gokyōrō Chikayoshi.

This screen in rosewood with gilded bronze and lacquers and its Japanese print panel is a perfect example of the refinement and quality of the work produced by the Escalier de Cristal, which was founded in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century by Madame Veuve Desarnaud. In 1885, the probable date of the screen's creation, it was managed by the Pannier brothers who had a deluxe store in the Opéra district, on the corner of Rue Scribe and Rue Auber.

D. M.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

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