These guéridons are after the celebrated model by François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841). The son of Georges Jacob (1739-1814), celebrated seat-furniture maker to the court of Louis XVI, Jacob-Desmalter, took over his father's business with his older brother in 1796. When his brother died six years later, Jacob-Desmalter hired his father back as his partner and began to develop one of the largest furniture workshops in Paris, securing extensive commissions from Napoleon and the Empress Josephine. The design for the guéridons is based upon a drawing reproduced by the publisher Pierre Antoine Leboux de la Mésangère (1761-1831) in his celebrated periodical Collection des Meubles et Objets de Goût (plate 11, 1802-3). A closely related period example has been recorded in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, with circular base and lacking the central basket, and another with circular base, but without the central basket or elevated top sold Sotheby's, London, 4 December 2007, lot 94.
A second group of similar but more substantial tables are attributed to Wilhelm Hopfgarten (d. 1860) and Benjamin Ludwig Jollage (d. 1837), Prussian bronziers working as fondeurs in Rome from circa 1805. This group includes one photographed in 1914 in the antichambre of Sir Richard Wallace's Paris residence at 2 rue Laffitte, a second with micromosaic top depicting scenes from the 'le bouclier d’Achille’, designed by the director of the Vatican mosaic workshops, Michael Köck, in the Grand Trianon, Versailles, a third also at the Hermitage, and lastly a fourth sold Christie's, London, 10 July 2014, lot 7 (£266,500).
The present fine examples date from the Empire revival of the 1880s and are the work of Parisian bronzier Henry Vian. Specialising almost exclusively in gilt-bronze, Vian produced articles of the highest quality, so much so that the style of his casting and gilding can often be mistaken for earlier work. The firm's output was concerned principally with the production of light-fittings, making this pair of gueridons inspired by Jacob-Desmalter's celebrated model highly unusual. A pair of gueridons of this model also by Henri Vian and dating to the late 19th century sold Christie's, London, 19 March 2008, lot 150 (£180,500).