From a collection in the Oise; acquired during the 1950's close to the Galerie Barillet.
A very fine Empire gilt bronze mounted mahogany console attributed to Jacob-Desmalter et Cie, the rectangular grey veined marble top above a frieze mounted with scrolled mounts centred by an Apollo mask medallion and at the sides by ribbon-tied wreaths, raised on an anterior pair of shaped monopodia supports headed by gilt bronze lion heads above carved acanthus leaves terminating in lion paw feet, the posterior double baluster-shaped supports flanking a mirrored glass on a breakfronted rectangular plinth
Paris, date circa 1805-1810
Height 104 cm, length 156 cm, depth 48 cm.
This magnificent console, based on a design by Napoleon's favourite designers Percier and Fontaine, presents various characteristics that are typical of the great Parisian firm of ébénistes Jacob-Desmalter et Cie, which from 1803-1813 was run by Georges Jacob (1739-1814) and his son François-Honoré-Georges Jacob (1770-1841). A study for an almost identical console described as "etude de console avec pieds à têtes de lions" by Georges-Alphonse Jacob-Desmalter (1799-1870) and Charles Percier (1764-1838) is preserved in the Château de Fontainebleau. As here it features the same monopodia lion supports, the same shaped base and differs only in the design of the frieze mounts.
The posterior supports with their characteristic double baluster form and stylised carved foliate motifs was one that Jacob-Desmalter often repeated, for instance for supports for carved giltwood fauteuils in the Royal Palace, Brussels (illustrated in Léon de Groër, "Les Arts Décoratifs de 1790 à 1850", 1985, p. 135, pl. 246, p. 141, pl. 260 and p. 239, pl. 454). Similar double baluster supports also feature on the front of another carved mahogany console bearing Jacob-Desmalter's stamp, formerly from the Galerie Château La Garenne, Brussels. Further examples include double baluster supports at the front of a giltwood bed made by François-Honoré-Georges Jacob for Napoleon's bedchamber at Compiègne (illustrated in Denise Ledoux-Lebard, "Le Mobilier Français du XIXe Siècle", 2000, p. 277).
The firm also favoured lion motifs and lion monopodia supports such as seen on a Georges Jacob fauteuil de bureau after a design by Charles Percier (illustrated Ledoux-Lebard, ibid, p. 283). Such monopodia supports featured in a number of other Percier and Fontaine designs, for instance for a proposal for a grand table à thé to be made by MM. Jacob (illustrated in Olivier Lefeuel, "Percier et Fontaine" in "Connaissance des Arts", Paris, 15th June 1954, no. 28, p. 32). Similar supports but with winged lions appear in another design project for the Emperor's throne (illustrated Lefeuel, ibid, p. 33).