Andre Sornay was an extremely gifted furniture designer who belonged to the absolute avant-garde both conceptually and artistically. As an exponent of the Art Deco style, he had a major influence on French furniture of the twentieth century. At the age of seventeen, he took over his father's company and changed course by introducing furniture with sleek, modern lines.
Passionate Sornay collector and member of the Compagnie Nationale des Experts et du Syndicat National des Antiquaires Alain Marcelpoil divides Sornay's work into three periods;The so-called “before nailing” from 1920 to 1932, the “nailing” from 1933 to 1949 and the “after nailing” from 1950 to 1965. This fascinating sideboard was certainly created in the middle period in which he developed his patented nailing technique. This technique in which thin panels are mounted on a frame with metal nails became his absolute trademark.
With this impressive sideboard, Sornay displays his foresight, use of technology and sense of beauty. In our personal opinion, a real pièce de résistance. Let's start with the trapezoidal foot that functions as a kind of pedestal for the body above. Viewed from the front, we see the Sornay logo stamped into the dark-colored wood at the bottom left. Very subtle and anything but shouty. Above this, the spectacle begins with a cupboard section that is also trapezoidal and is, so to speak, an answer or an extension of the shape of the base.
The dark rosewood veneer is applied in different directions and primarily radiates a feeling of luxury but above all mystery. The rich drawings in the wood create depth and thus invite the viewer's gaze in a refined way. On the edges the veneer is vertical and wilder in pattern, but on the doors the drawing is calmer. Except on the sliding door in the middle, where the veneer is horizontal. The metal nails form a border that runs over the left and right door and functions as a subtly worn piece of jewelry. There are two drawers on the left and right, the handles of which slide in so that the cabinet is completely closed. A progressive system that also serves a decorative purpose. Behind these doors there is ample storage space.
Finally, we would like to highlight the top and sides of this sublime cabinet. Veneer has been applied horizontally in the center from left to right. This alternates with the outer edges where the veneer is vertical again. In the middle of this pleasant balance, a striking travertine strip is partly recessed.
This sideboard has been completely restored by us, retaining the patina and small imperfections that provide its special appearance."