Signed: Philip. Kelvin LaVerne
Etched and patinated bronze and pewter, enameled decoration
70″ W; 17″ H; 30″ D
Father and son duo Philip (1907—1987) and Kelvin (born 1936) Laverne are well-known for their unique approach to decorative household design. This coffee table is a fine example of the LaVernes’ Chin Ying design in their signature patinated and enameled decoration. The scene depicted on the table’s surface illustrated dancers celebrating the rites of spring in the Imperial Palace. The figures are detailed by the use of hand-applied polychrome enamel cloisonné and the subtle background is composed of patinated bronze and pewter. The Laverne signature can be found in the bottom left quadrant of the scene.
The sophisticated craftsmanship involved in the patinated and acid-etched surface of the Chin Ying table, the large size and angular base are all hallmarks of the LaVernes’ dedication to exotic decoration and finish in their pieces. This example retains strong original color and an undisturbed surface.
Literature: The Art of Philip LaVerne, studio catalog, pg. 22
Philip and Kelvin Laverne SCULPTURE III showroom catalog published in the late 1960’s, this table is shown on page 19 with a description of it on page 52 which reads: “CHIN YING – …Charmingly slender, supple ladies celebrate the rites of spring in the Imperial Palace. The rainbow of colors is an outstanding example of enamel cloisonné which bursts forth from a muted background of bronze and pewter. The table top seemingly floats on a simple yet elegant base of bronze.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: The father and son team of Philip and Kelvin LaVerne had such a wonderful aesthetic eye that turned metal-clad furniture into true works of art.