Gabriel Viardot started his career as a wood carver and took over the family firm from his father Charles in 1861. By 1870 he specialized in exotic furniture influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese styles, Vietnam being one of France's most important colonies. He advertised as 'createur des meubles dans le genre chinios et japonais'.
In 1860 he was located at 5, rue du Grand - Chantier, he moved to several locations including 36 rue Rambuteau where he sold objects d'art et de fantaisie and finally to rue Amelot where he stayed until the end of the century. Around 1885 he employed about 100 men.
He exhibited widely, including at Crystal Palace in 1851, and was both participant and jury member for the 1867, 1878 and 1889 International Exhibitions in Paris. His major success was at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle where the firm was awarded a gold medal.
A large armoire, in the sino-japonais style with mother of pearl inlaid decoration and surmounted by a dragon, by Viardot can be seen in the collection of the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris.
Camille Mestdagh, ‘L'ameublement d'art français’ (1850-1900), 2010.
Denise Ledoux-Lebard, ‘Le mobilier français du XIXe siècle’, 1984.