Antique Louis XV Style Kingwood & Ormolu Guéridon Table
This is a superb French 19th Century Louis XV Style Circular Occasional Guéridon table of free-standing form constructed using Kingwood quarter matched veneers to the top and with the frieze of conforming veneer work and is surmounted with superb quality Ormolu mounts. This very fine table is raised by four elegant swept cabriole legs surmounted with floral ormolu mounts rising from the ormolu sabot-shod feet modelled as a pied-de-biche.
The pied-de-biche (deer’s/doe’s foot) or hoof foot, usually that of a deer, is an early style carved to resemble a realistic animal hoof. It developed along with the cabriole leg with which it usually appears, towards the end of the 17th century and are most characteristic of Régence, William and Mary, early Louis XV and Queen Anne furniture, and they lasted until the turn of the 19th century.
A Guéridon is a French side table with a circular top; guéridons were first made in 17th Century France; originally they had intricately carved columns with figures inspired by ancient Roman and Greek figures supporting their round tops. Over time this evolved to include round top tables supported by elegant decorative legs. A variety of small occasional tables with no particular function are now called guéridons in French.
While gueridons are usually ornate and decorative, their humble and simple purpose was to hold a small object, like a vase or candlestick. The word comes from the French name Guéridon, a fictional character featured in stories and songs in the seventeenth century.
1Quarter matched veneers - This technique works with the natural growth pattern of the tree from which the veneers are cut. Four pieces of veneer are book matched from side to side, and top to bottom.
2Ormolu was popular with French craftsmen in the 18th, 19th and 20th Century for ornamental fittings for furniture, clocks and other decorative items. True ormolu is gilt bronze, that is bronze that has been coated with gold using a mercury amalgam. Due to the health risks associated with using mercury, this method of creating ormolu was discontinued in France in the 1830s. A substitute was developed consisting of about 75% copper and 25% zinc, however it was inferior to the bronze version. It was often lacquered to prevent it tarnishing
3Mounts are used to describe bronze, brass and ormolu adornments on furniture especially quality furniture in the rococo and classical revival style, and are also the cabinet makers' name for the metal fittings on furniture, such as hinges, locks and handles, and metal edges and guards which protect furniture from damage
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