An Unusual Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Vitrine Table In The Manner of Weisweiler, by Georges-François Alix.
French, Circa 1890.
This fine mahogany vitrine table has a hinged rectangular glass top opening to a shallow velvet lined interior. The table is raised on turned and fluted legs united by an interlaced stretcher and surmounted by gilt-bronze addorsed dolphins and put down on toupie feet.
Elegant and sophisticated and with a simplicity that belies the complexity of its design, this vitrine table is based on a celebrated 18th Century ‘table a ouvrage’ now in the collection of the musée du Louvre (OA 6510). Bequeathed to the museum by the de Camondo family of financiers and philanthropists in 1911; the table was formerly in the collection of Léopold Double (1812 – 1881), the celebrated 19th Century collector.
While furniture historians had previously attributed the original model for this table to Jean-Henri Riesener, it is more probable that it was made or designed in collaboration with Adam Weisweiler. Historian Francis Watson suggests that the original table was made for Marie-Antoinette, perhaps on the occasion of the birth of the dauphin of France, Louis Joseph, in 1781.
Other important 19th Century cabinetmakers made their own versions of this table, such as Henry Dasson, Paul Sormani, and most probably Beurdeley. The original table, like our fine example, was complete with the gilt-bronze dolphins supporting an orb mounted with a fleur de lys, which is not present in the Sormani or Dasson versions – see Christopher Payne’s book Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, p. 191.
Another notable example of this table can be found in the National Trust collection at Polesden Lacey, Surrey (NT 1245956.2), the former home of renowned society hostess and philanthropist Margaret Greville (1863 – 1942).