An unusual amboyna Napoleon III secretaire desk by Diehl, the rectangular top above a single long frieze drawer which opens to reveal a leather-inset secretaire with a pigeonhole flanked by two small drawers, all above two pedestals, each enclosing further drawers, both sides with a book slide, the reverse with decorative panels, decorated with rosewood banding and high quality ormolu mounts, signed on the lock plate ‘Diehl, rue Michel-le-Comte 19, Paris’. French, c1860.
Footnote: Charles-Guillaume Diehl (1811-1885) was born in Steinbach (Grand-Duchy of Hesse). He moved to Paris in 1840 and by 1870 his workshops employed six hundred workers. Jules Mesnard, in ‘The Marvels of the Universal Exhibition’ Paris, 1867 (in which Diehl won a silver medal) summarized Diehl’s production as follows “his work embraces all artistic furniture, from the 2 franc pin box to the big piece of furniture costing 70 000 francs. He has ordinary and current furniture, and costly furniture.”