An Empire Mahogany and Ormolu-Mounted Guéridon

Circa 1805

Height: 2 ft. 6 in. (75 cm)
Diameter: 3 ft. 2 in. (97 cm)

The white marble top with a pierced ormolu gallery above a mahogany-veneered frieze inlaid with brass stringing and lozenges, the lower white marble tier with a similar ormolu gallery, raised on three simulated bronze legs headed by gilt lion’s heads and carved in relief with gilt collars and anthemion leaves on paw feet.

This table is distinguished by its unusually large size. The elegant design is typical of work being produced in the early Empire period by prominent manufacturers such as Bernard Molitor (1755-1833), and recorded by such arbiters of taste as Pierre de la Mésangère in his 1802 publication Meubles et objets de goût. A watercolour design for a guéridon of a similar nature, with applied lion’s masks on the frieze above the legs, is in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (illustrated in Ulrich Leben, Molitor. Ebéniste from the Ancien Régime to the Bourbon Restoration, London 1992, p.161, fig.168).