Guéridon

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A c. 1810 guéridon by French-born American cabinetmaker Charles-Honoré Lannuier. Mahogany, satinwood, rosewood, and possibly sycamore veneers, gilded brass, and marble. Located in the Red Room of the White House.

A guéridon is a small, often circular-top, table supported by one or more columns, or sculptural human or mythological figures. This kind of furniture originated in France towards the middle of the 17th century. The supports for early guéridons were often modeled on African, ancient Egyptian or ancient Greek human figures (inspired by caryatids).

While often serving humble purposes, such as to hold a candlestick or vase, the guéridon could be a high-style decorative piece of court furniture. By the death of Louis XIV there were several hundred of them at Versailles, and within a generation they had taken an infinity of forms: columns, tripods, termini and mythological figures. Some of the simpler and more artistic forms were of wood carved with familiar decorative motives and gilded. Silver, enamel, and indeed almost any material from which furniture can be made, have been used for their construction. A variety of small occasional tables are now called guéridons in French.

References[edit]

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Abbott, James A. A Frenchman in Camelot: The Decoration of the Kennedy White House by Stéphane Boudin. Boscobel Restoration Inc.: 1995. ISBN 0-9646659-0-5.
  • Kenny, Peter M., Frances F. Bretter and Ulrich Leben. Honoré Lannuier Cabinetmaker from Paris: The Life and Work of French Ébiniste in Federal New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Harry Abrams: 1998. ISBN 0-87099-836-6.
  • Monkman, Betty C. The White House: The Historic Furnishing & First Families. Abbeville Press: 2000. ISBN 0-7892-0624-2.