The fantastic bronze winged lion's masks heading the legs of this elegant bureau plat derive from a design for a grand fauteuil de bureau published by the architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François Fontaine (C. Percier & P. F. L. Fontaine, Recueil de Décorations Intérieures, 1801, pl. 15, nos. 9 and 10) and appear - carved in wood rather than cast in bronze - on pairs of console tables made in 1804 by the celebrated firm of Jacob-Desmalter for the palais de Fontainebleau (J-P Samoyault, Meubles entrés sous le Premier Empire, Paris, 2004, pp. 94 - 96). The firm of Jacob, already leading chair maker in the late 18th century, was the Emperor's main purveyor. Under the direction of Georges (1739-1814), maître in 1765, and François-Honoré Georges Jacob (1770-1841) dit Jacob-Desmalter, the firm was renowned for its exceptional carved furniture as well as fine case furniture, often featuring the finest mahogany veneers. A related mahogany bureau plat with similar bronzed griffin monopodia supports bearing the stamp of Jacob Frères Rue Meslée was sold from the collections of Josette Day-Solvay, Tajan, Paris, 17 December 2002, lot 173.