Cabinet-maker and bronze caster
A rare center table
Height : 75 cm (29 1/2 in.) ; Width : 95 cm (37 2/3 in.) ; Depth : 55 cm (21 2/3 in.)
Made exclusively in richly carved boxwood ; with a fine pierced belt ornamented with laurel branches. Raised on four legs joined by a stretcher, centred by a carved boxwood vase. Topped with a red Griotte marble.
Beurdeley liked to use boxwood because of its hardness. Beurdeley, this cabinet-maker and sculptor at the same time, could then making pieces of furniture presenting a very high quality of carving. He showed for instance a beautiful boxwood table at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition (in « Beaux-Arts et Arts décoratifs à l’Exposition Universelle de 1878 », p.395).
In 1875, Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley (1847-1919) was at first assistant to and later succeeded his father Louis-Auguste Beurdeley, one of the main cabinet-makers of the Second Empire, specialising in XVIIIth century furniture. Louis-Auguste was the star whenever he exhibited and was “most favored by the royal and imperial families”. Although he produced the same kind of works of art as his father, Alfred Beurdeley was also a very well-known art collector and a skilled bronze sculptor. With Dasson, Grohé, Sauvresy and Fourdinois, the most famous artists of the period, he took part in the 1878 Universal Exhibition and won the gold medal. Crowned with glory he went so far as to open a shop in New York. His participation in the 1883 Amsterdam Universal Exhibition drew considerable attention to his work and “Alfred Beurdeley, Fabricant de bronzes d’art” was then awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, France’s hightest official mark of recognition. He thus won the respect of both the government and contemporary art critics. His last presentation was during the 1889 Universal and International Exhibition, when the director of the Exhibition wrote in his report : “The talent of Mr Beurdeley is self evident when one inspects his furniture.”
L’univers des bronzes, Yves Devaux, Ed. Pygmalion, Paris, 1978, p. 261.
“La saga Beurdeley (1814-1919)“, Bernard Dorival, B.S.H.A.F., 1989, p° 191.