Guéridon Table

 

Louis-Francois-Laurent Puteaux (1780-1864)

 

Guéridon Table, known as « The Table of Reconcilation »


 

Paris, start of the Restoration period, approx. 1815-1817

 

Dimensions :

Height : 31” ½ in.

Diameter :  51” 3/16 in.

 

Provenance : Probably given by Czar Alexander I of Russia to General François de Chasseloup-Laubat, then by subsequent inheritance.



The supporting structure is veneered in Karelian birch:  the base takes the form of a five-pointed star, while the five outside legs are composed of arrow shafts with the tips and feathering in delicately bronze gilt. The monumental central column is similarly decorated.

The circular table top has a remarkable mechanism that allows it to disconnect from the rest of the table and swivel around. The entire surface is finely detailed marquetry: geometric patterns in tarsia geometrica laid out in a glorious rose-effect and composed of precious woods including sycamore, purpewood and karelian birch. At its heart lies a six-pointed star encircled by a laurel crown. The outer edge of the tabletop bears an exceptional frieze of twelve crests of weaponry in light-coloured wood standing out in a darker background of purpewood. Between these lie twelve medallions of finely inlaid mother-of-pearl in which the monogram of Csar Alexander I alternates with the medal of the Russian Order of St Anne. These are encircled by laurel crowns of green-tinted sycamore. The rim of the table is again veneered in the most extraordinary Karelian birch and above each of the legs there are five squares of a darker colour in which, laid out in mother-of-pearl, the coat of arms of the Russian Empire is displayed; a crowned two-headed eagle with its wings risen, it bears the shield of the Csar, in one of its claws it holds a cruciferous globe, a symbol of power, and in the other a lit torch, symbolising learning and knowledge.