The Parisian firm of Wassmus Frères was founded in 1810 by two brothers of Hanoverian descent, Jean-Henri-Chrétien (d. circa 1860) and Jean-Henri-Christophe. Established during the Empire period, the firm remained active through the end of the Second Empire, producing new pieces in revivalist styles, and adaptating earlier pieces. Under the direction of the former's son, Henri-Léonard Wassmus, the business traded from 146, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis from 1853, and supplied furniture to the European royal houses. Wassmus Frères distinguished themselves by exhibiting at the Exposition des Produits de l'Industrie Française in 1844, and at the Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867. They became fournisseurs de la Couronne during the Second Empire, delivering furniture for the various royal palaces such as the Tuileries, and Saint Cloud, before ceasing trading in 1868.
An example where Wassmus modified earlier pieces can be best shown in a pair of tables, of similar design to the present lot, which sold in these Rooms, 22 May 2002, lot 439 ($361,500). The pair had been adapted from a single, much larger late Louis XVI table. While transforming the single table to a pair in the 19th century, Wassmus Frères incorporated four of the original legs, and the original lion-mask frieze mounts. Additional frieze mounts were taken from the original console and cleverly re-used with the addition of new mounts to disguise the evidence of construction.