Gueridon tables originated in France in the mid-1600s, often serving as highly decorative pedestals for displaying candlesticks or fine ceramics. During the reign of Napoleon (known as the Empire Style), these small tables were not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also functioned as tea or lunch tables. This particular gueridon features warmly colored walnut veneers beneath a black stone top. Based on the choice of wood, this table was hand-carved circa 1815, as the continental blockade imposed by Napoleon was already in effect, crippling the supply of mahogany (the favored wood earlier in the period).
The one-inch thick top, which has visible white and gray fossil inclusions, has a slightly raised lip over a beveled cut. A hallmark of Empire gueridons was the wide frieze seen here, interrupted by three rectangular joinery adorned with bronze fittings of a bundled laurel wreath. Each joint is aligned with the cylindrical legs, also fitted with bronze embellishments of rings of husks beneath either textured lozenges (at the top of the leg) or leaf tips (as seen at the base of the leg). Another characteristic of the period can be seen in the form of tripartite stretchers with concave sides, just above flared feet. Our elegant yet functional Empire gueridon table is highly versatile, as it has a small roller under each foot, allowing it to be easily moved throughout the house. It can be used as a center table for a foyer or entry hall, a small breakfast table, or as a side table in a living room.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with slight age separations, rubs, and lifting to veneer. Very light nicks and fleabites to the top.