Founded in around 1815 by Jean Beurdeley (1772-1853), Maison Beurdeley's reputation was principally established by Jean's son, Louis-Auguste-Alfred (1808-1882), who took over from his father in 1840, and grandson, Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis (1847-1919), who succeeded in 1875. The present side cabinet is characteristic of Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis's late 19th century production, which specialised in furniture and objects inspired by the Louis XVI models in the Garde-Meuble National.
Maison Beurdeley exhibited and won awards at all of the major International Exhibitions during the second half of the 19th century. As visible in the highly sculptural fruiting swag in the present lot, the firm was distinguished for the refinement of its ormolu, with the hand chasing of such quality that it is difficult to differentiate from late 18th century examples. A report from the 1867 Paris Exposition universelle noted la qualité de sa fabrication, l'ébéniste le plus réputé de Paris dans ce genre, doue d'un gôut exquis, pénêtre de la science des style à un degré extrement remarquable. Interestingly, the exhibition included a grande bibliothèque featuring a closely related model of ormolu-mounted Corinthian capital supports, a recurrent motif of Maison Beurdeley's oeuvre (illustrated in C. Mestdagh, L'Ameublement d'art français 1850-1900, Paris, 2010, p. 67, fig. 70).
In addition to the present lot, two other known examples of this model are recorded. One variant includes lion masks above the acanthus-mounted marble columns, which are a model unique to Beurdeley. A second example, lacking the central garland and with female masks instead of foliate clasps, is illustrated ibid, 'archives photographiques Pierre Lécoules', p. 271, fig. 319.