Cabinet-maker and bronze caster
SUMPTUOUS PAIR OF LOUIS XVI STYLE “MEUBLES D’APPUI”
Height : 103 cm (40 1/2 in.) ; Width : 175 cm (68 3/4 in.) ; Depth : 61 cm (24 in.)
Sumptuous pair of Louis XVI style “meubles d’appui”, each made in mahogany and amaranth with a splendid decoration of floral motif precious woods marquetry. Topped with a moulded “Verde Antico” marble sourmounting a large centering drawer, above three doors alternated with fluted “Verde Antico” marble columns topped with corinthian capitals. A magnificent ornamentation made of finely chiselled and gilded bronze lion muzzles, foliage and fruits garlands. Resting on four gilt-bronze foliate cast feet.
Similar cabinet made by Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley and presented in : L’ameublement d’art français, 1850-1900, Camille Mestdagh, Les Ed. de l’Amateur, Paris, 2010, p°271.
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.”