Empire, circa 1810
The Collection of Maréchal Lannes and exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, January-February 1951.
Sotheby's London, The Gutzwiller Collection, 12th and 13th December 1996, lot 213
Sylvie Chadenet, Les Styles Empire & Restauration, Paris, p. 61, illustrated plate 1.
Adam Weisweiler received Master 1778.
A smaller version of this piece by Weisweiler is illustrated by Patrick Lemonnier, Weisweiler, Paris, 1983, page 88.Lemonnier puts forward the suggestion that the metalwork on the illustrated table was probably executed by Thomire Duterme et Cie., on the basis that it is recorded that Weisweiler supplied furniture to the latter between 1808-1809.
A related table with legs of blue steel by Jacob-Desmalter now at Compiègne is illustrated by Serge Grandjean, Empire Furniture 1800-1825, London, 1966, plate 64.
The legs and stretcher are almost identical to those on a table by Weisweiler sold Sotheby's, Monaco, on 4th March 1989, lot 228 and a table sold in these Rooms on 18th June 1989, lot 995.
It is worthwhile noting that Jacob-Desmalter also executed tables of this model, see for example a mahogany table vide-poche supplied by him in 1810 to the Empress Marie-Louise for the salon des jeux of the Grand Trianon, illustrated by Denise Ledoux-Lebard, Le Grand Trianon, Meubles et objets d'art, Vol. I, Paris, 1975, p. 42 .
A related table à ecrire stated to be in the manner of Weisweiler was sold as lot 305, from the Wildenstein Collection, Christie's, London, 14th-15th December 2005 (£54,000).
Jean Lannes, duc de Montebello, Maréchal de France (1769-1809), was one of Napoleon's ablest generals. Having accompanied him to Egypt, he then went on to such victories as Montebello - from which he took his title - Marengo, up to commanding the left side of the Grande Armée at the battle of Austerlitz. During the years 1802-1804 he was sent as ambassador to Portugal. Upon his return, further victories ensued, including Jena, Ulm and Friedland. Lannes was mortally wounded at Essling and died on May 31 1809.
Napoleon said of him on St Helena, "Lannes, le plus brave de tous les hommes était assurément un des hommes au monde sur lesquels je pouvais le plus compter... L'esprit de Lannes avait grandi au niveau de son courage, il était devenu un géant."
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