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Napoleon III Tables and Guéridons

13th November 2020 | Galerie Atena

Dining Table in Louis XVI Style

Extendable Dining Table in Louis XVI Style


Napoleon III style, which lasted from 1852 to 1870, is characterized by a vast mixture of styles from the 16th century to the 18th century. A large number of furniture items in Boulle style, Louis XV and Louis XVI living rooms, Renaissance and Empire style dining rooms were made in France in the second half of the 19th century. Small tables - such as guéridons and consoles - were particularly appreciated. Crafted of black lacquered wood, ebony, walnut or rosewood, those tables had various uses and their aesthetics was indebted to the old styles.



Dining Tables


Large dining room tables faithfully reproduced Louis XVI or Empire tables, and more rarely, Renaissance tables. Louis XVI style, under the impulse of Empress Eugénie, a great admirer of Marie-Antoinette, perfectly imitated Louis XVI furniture, which gave this style the name "Louis XVI-Impératrice".


Mahogany and Gilt Bronze Suite in Empire Style

Dining Room Suite : Table and 12 Gondola Chairs in Empire Style


Napoleon III Boulle Marquetry Table
Napoleon III Boulle Marquetry Table With Brass Decoration on Tortoiseshell Ground


Our Empire style dining room suite takes up the forms and decorative motifs of the Directoire and Empire styles: gondola chairs, eagles, swans and geometrical patterns.


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Furniture items in the style of André-Charles Boulle had small and monumental sizes, and their quality was exceptional. Boulle marquetry is a superposition of tortoiseshell and brass decoration. This technique named after the famous cabinetmaker of King Louis XIV, was brought by him to its most accomplished heights. Boulle used "partie" (light on dark, brass ornamentation fitted into a tortoiseshell ground) and "contrepartie" marquetry (dark colors against a light ground, tortoiseshell arabesques on brass) in his wardrobes, tables, clocks and desks. Several famous Napoleon III cabinetmakers specialized in Boulle style furniture, such as Joseph Cremer (1811-1878) and Charles-Guillaume Diehl (1811-1885).



Gueridon Tables


The Second Empire period appreciated small tables with various uses: gueridon tables, console tables, nesting tables and "travailleuses" tables. Most of these pieces of furniture were crafted of black lacquered wood, and decorated with multicoloured paintings (flowers, chinoiseries or Renaissance scrolls). Some of them imitated Renaissance and Louis XVI styles.


Gueridon in Louis XVI Style and Adam Weisweiler Taste

Louis XVI-Style Guéridon in Adam Weisweiler Taste, Circa 1860

Mahogany and Gilt Bronze Gueridon With Sphinx in

Mahogany Guéridon With Sphinx in "Retour d'Egypte" Style

Italian Marble Marquetry Gueridon Table

Italian Marble Marquetry Guéridon Table


Many gueridon tables were crafted of black lacquered wood or inlaid papier-mâché. A balustrade-shaped shaft connected to the round or rectangular top with a hinge that could open to tilt the tabletop vertically. Those guéridons were richly decorated with painted flowers inlaid with mother-of-pearl.


19th Century Gueridon with Satyr Heads

Oval Guéridon With Brocatelle Marble Top and Satyr Heads

Napoleon III Gueridon in Wood and Lacquered Cardboard

Napoleon III Guéridon in Wood and Lacquered Cardboard

Napoleon III Display Case in Neoclassical Taste

Napoleon III Display Case in Neoclassical Taste


Black Lacquered Wood


Napoleon III cabinetmakers used dark woods such as ebony - for Renaissance, Louis XV-style or Boulle style-furniture. Almost all woods for cabinet making were used during this period, however black lacquered wood was the most popular. It was especially adopted for small furniture with inlayed or painted decoration. Black lacquered furniture painted with multicoloured flowers are representative for this period.

Discover all the Guéridons