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H.-A. Fourdinois

Cabinet-maker
(1830-1907)

Exceptional bedroom set

The bed exhibited at the Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889

France
Circa 1889

An exceptional Louis XVI style bedroom set in carved mahogany and veneered of sycamore with brass filets and gilt bronze ornaments. The set consists in a wardrobe opening with three mirror doors framed by carved columns and enriched with gilt bronze putti forming candelabra. The en-suite dressing table adorned with carved columns, as well, opens with four ranges of drawers with chiselled handles. The onyx top supports a large pediment with three mirrors enriched with columns, frieze, pillars and capitals, and flowers wreath. The carved bed, with its original three octagonal fabric panels, is accompanied by two side tables, one squared and the other oval, both with onyx top. Then, there are a table with two chairs.


The bedroom set was certainly exhibited by Fourdinois at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, 1889.

– A bed : Height : 140 cm (55 in.) ; Width : 178 cm (70 in.) ext. / 161 cm (63 in.) int Length : : 215 cm (85 in.) ext. / 198 cm (78 in.) int.

– A dressing table, fitted with shelves above a chest opening with two large drawers and five smaller ones.  Height : 197 cm (77 1/2 in.) ; Width : 138 cm (54 in.) ; Depth : 62 cm (24 1/2 in.)

– A wardrobe opening with three doors, each framing a mirror The side doors surmounting two drawers, are fitted inside with mirrors and sliding drawers. Height : 250 cm (98 1/2 in.) ; Width : 227 cm (89 1/3 in.) ; Depth : 60 cm (23 2/3 in.)

– A squarred side table opening with a small door and a drawer. Height : 83 cm (32 2/3 in.) ; Width : 47 cm (18 1/2 in.) ; Depth : 46 cm (18 in.)

– A oval side table opening with a drawer. Height : 82 cm (32 1/4 in.) ; Width : 37 cm (14 1/2 in.) ; Depth : 35 cm (13 3/4 in.)

– A table, opening with two drawers.  Height : 75 cm (29 1/2 in.) ; Width : 101 cm (39 2/3 in.) ; Depth : 61 cm (24 in.)

– Two chairs.

Bed by H.-A. Fourdinois, Exposition Universelle, 1889 

   

Biography

The firm of Fourdinois, considered during the Second Empire as the greatest furniture manufacturer in Paris, was founded in 1835 by Alexandre-Georges Fourdinois (1799-1871). It was developped in the context of the Expositions Universelles. At the time, the firm already produces furniture of the Neo-Renaissance style, such as a dresser that won the Great Medal at the London Universal Exhibition of 1851. The son, Henri-Auguste Fourdinois (1830-1907), joined the firm in 1860 and will become head of the firm in 1867. The high quality of his designs was remarked at the Universal Exhibition in 1862, when the jury awarded him two medals « for Excellence of Composition and Execution ». Henri-Auguste, now sole in charge, brought the firm to the summit of its achievements at the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris by winning the Grand Prize for his stand. Apart from the commissions he executed for the « Mobilier de la Couronne », he also produced high quality furniture for the Parisian bourgeoisie. The firm is at its zenith during the years 1862-1880. At this time, it is considered as an example to follow for other cabinet-makers, whether they are French, British or American.

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