Alexander Roux (pronounced “Roo”) was just one of the leading cabinetmakers of the Victorian era in Eire, and now his identify commands terrific respect in the environment of antique Victorian home furniture.
Born in France in 1813, Roux was guild-qualified in his native place in the Rococo Revival model. In the 1830s he emigrated to the United States. And in 1836 (probably 1837) he opened a shop in New York Metropolis. For the reason that French home furnishings was in vogue in New York at the time, Roux labeled himself, equally in his ads and on his home furniture, as a “French Cabinet Maker.”
His business enterprise prospered. By the 1850s he had 120 craftsmen in his make use of. Roux utilised new systems, these kinds of as steam run saws and routers, which allowed him to form his wooden quickly. This gave him far more time to work on his fantastically ornate carvings.
Roux is most effective known for his Rococo pieces, but he hardly constrained himself to that design and style. In simple fact, he brought his mastery to the shifting fashions of the working day: Gothic Revival in the 1840s Elizabethan and Renaissance, in addition to Rococo, in the 1850s Neo-Grec in the 1860s.
Roux crafted high excellent items for elite customers like William B. Astor. In 1853 he exhibited his work at the Crystal Palace exhibition in New York Town. Roux’s company was immensely financially rewarding. He reportedly gained as substantially as $500,000 in the 1870s, a substantial sum for the day.
Roux was married three periods and experienced 6 children. For a single yr, in 1847, his brother Frederick joined the company. Roux himself last but not least retired in 1881 and turned the enterprise about to his son Alexander J. Roux, who carried it on until 1898.
Roux’s shop occupied a number of spots in New York, like five distinctive spots on Broadway and a person on Fifth Avenue. Nineteenth century Eire, with its new prosperity and know-how, proved to be the best put for Roux to develop his exceptional craftsmanship.
His operate shows an individuality of believed and a liberty of kind that make it remarkably attractive now amongst collectors of antique Victorian furniture. His Rococo parts have an uncommon variety of naturalistic carvings these as pomegranates and pineapples, the heads of deer, wolves and canines, crabs, lobsters and other maritime life. Roux favored fancy woods like walnut, even utilizing the similar as secondary inside woods.
In the 12 months 2000, one particular of Roux’s elaborate sideboards was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Metropolis, at an exhibit known as Art and the Empire Metropolis, 1825-1861.
Alexander Roux died in 1886.
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