This gueridon exemplifies the fashionable Louis XVI style led by arbiters of taste such as Madame du Barry who gave the duc de Brissac a table of very close description, delivered by Lignèreux and Daguerre in 1791. In the inventory following the death of Daguerre there is listed:
V Item une petite table ronde forme de guéridon en racine de bois d'acajou poli sur trois pieds doubles en bronze doré façon de bambous avec entrejambe à tablettes et camé de porcelaine ornant la tablette supérieur prisée trois cent francs, cy....300
(reprinted in P. Lemonnier, Weisweiler, Paris, 1983, p. 162).
It is probable that Dominique Daguerre, the celebrated marchand-mercier, was responsible for the design and marketing for this model of table, which continued the tradition of furniture mounted with Sèvres porcelain plaques as pioneered by Simon-Philippe Poirier in the 1760's. The dealer Granchez of 'Au Petit Dunkerque' introduced Wedgwood and Bentley's cameo tablets to France, and from 1787 Daguerre was Wedgwood's representative in Paris. It was in the same year that Sir William Eden, the British minister plenipotentiary in Paris, was to inform Wedgwood that his 'Figures En Relief are far beyond anything that has been attempted anywhere'.
A drawing of a related table is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and is illustrated here. The drawing is annotated 'les bronzes argentés S. Kawrovsky'. Comte Skavronsky was the Russian ambassador to Naples (P. Lemonnier, op.cit., pp. 97, 90.) Other known examples of this model are stamped Weisweiler, indicating that this model was probably made exclusively by him and marketed by Daguerre. A number of related gueridons are known, with variations on the plaques. One with a central Wedgwood plaque surrounded by smaller plaques depicting signs of the zodiac sold from the collection of Lady Magnus-Allcroft, Christie's London, 10 June 1993, lot 26. Further examples include one in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and one also in amboyna and stamped by Weisweiler from the collection of Empress Eugénie, sold Christie's London, 2 June 1927, lot 58 (not illustrated). Another with a larger circular Sèvres biscuit plaque but of otherwise identical design is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier du XIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1989, p.868, pl. A.
The architect Robert Adam's 'antique' or 'Etruscan' style fostered a taste for inlaid tablets and medallions in the decoration of fashionable apartments for the 1770's. The plaque on this table, depicting a 'Sacrifice' group is probably after Clodion (see R. Reilly, Wedgwood, London, 1988, vol. II, pl. 917.)
The chinoiserie embellishment of this gueridon relates to Wedgwood's déjuner sets featuring bacchanalian youths on cluster-bamboo ware. The latter derives from a Chinese teapot, illustrated in Sir William Chambers' Designs of Chinese Buildings, 1757. No doubt his bamboo guéridon-stand, with central vase pedestal, can be seen as a prototype for this cluster-columned table which also relates to the french Athénienne stand. This table, with its exotic marble-effect veneer, harmonizes with the French fashion for the Anglo-Chinois garden promoted by the French edition of Chambers(op.cit.). It also combines the enthusiasm for the 'Etruscan' or 'Pompeiian' style, and for antique gems and cameos, with the taste for romanticism and sentimentality.