This rectangular box features an image of a witch doctor with hands folded as if preparing to preform a ceremony, rendered in low relief in iron and colored. Alfred Daguet produced objects for Siegfried Bing, owner of the Paris emporium L’Art Nouveau. Repoussé, the technique in which a malleable metal is “pushed” with special tools from the reverse side to create a design, was employed to create the surface ornamentation. It was further refined by chasing, the process of sinking the metal from the front.
About Alfred Daguet
Alfred-Louis-Achille Daguet was a metalsmith who specialized in repoussé copper panels made for application to hinged boxes, mantel clocks, picture frames, album covers, and elements of desk sets. His delicately rendered images of flowers, birds, sea creatures, bats, and an occasional gorilla were enriched with colorful cabochons, giving them a medieval appearance. Daguet, whose workshop was located above Siegfried Bing's famed boutique L'Art Nouveau, provided Bing's shop with metal-clad objets d'art. Famed actress Sarah Bernhardt owned pieces designed by Daguet. His work was exhibited at La Société des Artistes Français in 1903 and 1904. [Source: Jason Jacques]