A Fine Empire Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany Centre Table with a Vert de Mer Marble Top, in the Manner of Jacob-Desmalter.
The rectangular Verde Antico marble top sits above a frieze applied with laurel leaves, supported by two gilt-bronze female caryatid supports and two rectangular supports applied with anthemion. The H-shaped plinth centered on an urn flanked by sphinxes.
The original model of this table formed part of the furnishings of the bedroom of Caroline Murat at the Elysee Palace made by Jacob-Desmalter in 1808, now conserved at the Grand Trianon. The original design relies heavily on the work of Percier et Fontaine and originally sported a mosaic top from Herculaneum which was replaced by a marble top in the late nineteenth century.
One of the most important and influential families of cabinet-makers who led fashion and standards from 1765 to 1847. Their work encompasses three generations of the family, from George Jacob (the founder, 1739-1814), to his two sons Georges II (1768-1803) and François-Honoré-Georges (1770-1841), and finally his grandson Georges-Alphonse (1799-1870). They ran one of the most successful and influential furniture workshops in Paris
George Jacob (Senior) was one of the most prominent Parisian master menuisiers, producing carved, painted and gilded beds and seat furniture and upholstery work for the French royal châteaux, in the early Neoclassical style that is usually associated with Louis XVI. He retired in 1796, leaving his workshop in the hands of his sons, but when George II died, Jacob returned from retirement to oversee the constant supply of furnishings for Napoleon’s residences.
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter was the principal supplier of furniture to the Emperor and also received commissions from Pauline Borghese, Napoleon’s sister in Rome, and the Empresses Joséphine and Marie Louise, for whom he supplied numerous pieces for the Château de Malmaison, the Château de Compiègne, the Tuileries Palace, and other imperial residences. Important commissions included a magnificent cradle built for the infant King of Rome, and the most expensive single item, the jewel cabinet for the Empress, delivered in 1809 for the Empress Joséphine’s state bedroom in the Tuileries
Georges-Alphonse Jacob Desmalter was to see the business flourish from 1830 to 1847. He exhibited at all the most important exhibitions, selling furniture to the Royal Family and receiving many royal commissions. His style was an up-to-date version of the Empire style typified under Charles X and Louis-Philippe period using indigenous woods and ‘bois clairs’.
Stamp: ‘A. Jacob’, marque au fer ‘A.Jacob FS & Cie. B. de Bondy 30’, ‘A-Jacob Desmalter A Paris’ and from 1830-1847 ‘Jacob’. Lockplates were often signed ‘A. Jacob-Desmalter’ or, more simply ‘A. Jacob’.
French, Circa 1890.
Ledoux-Lebard, Denise, ‘Les Ebenistes du XIXeme siecle’, page 271.