A gilt-bronze and malachite Empire-style ‘Aux Caryatides’ centre table after Desmalter
French, 20th Century
Height: 82cm, diameter: 109cm
This magnificent piece is an ormolu mounted, malachite and bronze Empire style centre table, after the preeminent maker Desmalter in the ‘Aux Caryatides’, Imperial model. It features a gilt-bronze and malachite-inset table surface mounted upon four standing female figures – Caryatids, in the Classical style. Ionic column capitals are mounted on their heads, and between them in the centre of the smaller circular base is a campagna vase, in the Medici style, with a Classical frieze of nymphs dancing around it in a circle.
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter was the Imperial furniture maker for Napoleon for much of the early 19th century, whose exemplary output demonstrated the great variety and grandeur the Empire style afforded. This piece, in his manner, demonstrates that defining aspect of his oeuvre, combining Neoclassical and Napoleonic elements to create a superb centrepiece, fit for an Imperial setting, and guaranteed to bring real presence, beauty, and style to any modern interior.