An Important Napoleon III Gilt-Bronze Mounted Parquetry Pedestal Desk, By Guillaume Grohé.
Stamped to the top edge of one door ‘GROHE FRERES Ebeniste a PARIS’
Grand in scale and very useable, this impressive pedestal desk is conceived in the Louis XVI style popularly revived during the Second Empire period. The top has a beautiful dark green leather writing surface with a fine gilt hand-tooled border. The gilt-bronze mounts of scrolled acanthus to the frieze and ribbon-tied floral garlands to the angles are finely cast and chased. The frieze is fronted by three drawers fitted with high security locks by Huby of Paris. The pedestals have lozenge parquetry panels fronted by cupboard doors enclosing drawers. The right pedestal is fitted with a pen tray and safe box. The sides are fitted with pull-out slides. Designed to be placed centrally in a room or window bay, the kneehole is filled to the back with a panel decorated with conforming parquetry.
Le Monde Illustré of 4 November 1865 records that Monsieur Huby of the faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris, is a maker of the finest locks supplied to furniture makers including Grohé and Sauvrezy. The locks to this desk are especially ingenious being of a Bramah type, meaning the tips of the keys have slots of different depths which when inserted into the lock turn under sprung tension.
France, Circa 1860.