Constructed in kingwood and rosewood, trellis crossbanded, and sumptuously adorned with mercury gilt bronze mounts of the very finest quality, in the forms of female herms, lambrequins, foliates, swags and drapes; rising from toupie feet, of gentle breakfront form, having a blind centre door, dressed with an elliptical bronze plaque depicting Vulcan, Mercury, Minerva and a putto in an Arcadian landscape, and flanked by two vitrine bevelled glass doors, all lockable, and enclosing shelved interiors; two drawers set in the frieze, and surmounted by a fine example of Campagne Rubané marble. Stamped to the back and the locks by the maker.
French, Circa 1873
The World Exposition of 1873 was held at the command of Emperor Franz-Joseph, in Vienna, the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s contribution to similar expos held in Paris, London, and Baltimore. Its motto was Kultur und Erziehung (Culture and Education).There were almost 26,000 exhibitors housed in The Rotunda, situated in The Prater Park, and designed by the Scottish engineer John Scott Russell. The Rotunda was destroyed by fire on September 17, 1937.
The Messrs Guéret furniture manufactory was founded by Denis Desiré (born in 1828) and Onésimus (born 1830) in 1853 at 7 rue Buffault in Paris trading as “Guéret Frères”. Subsequently trading from 5 Bvd. de la Madeleine in 1863, and thence transferring to 216 Rue Lafayette in 1870. From 1877, the company’s title became “Guéret Jeune et Cie” and its activity continued until 1900. Exhibitors and medal winners at the 1855, and 1867 Universelle Expositions, LeDoux-Lebarre's dictionary of 19th Century cabinet makers notes the frequency of judges’ praises for their excellence of design and execution. The official catalogue, ‘L’Exposition Universelle de Vienne Illustree’, features on pp 516 a lengthy description of the piece, which was selected by the Jury to receive a ‘Diploma of Honour’, the very highest award.
Examples of their work may be seen in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, Musée d'Orsay, San Francisco Museum of Fine Art and the Victorian & Albert Museum, London.