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.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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