Born in Germany in 1811, Charles-Guillaume Diehl settled in Paris circa 1840 and at first specialised in Boulle marquetry and small functional furniture. By 1878, he was known for his 'meubles néo-grecs très étudiés et très savants', participating in all the major Expositions Universelles where he was awarded numerous medals (1855, 1867, 1869 and 1873). Artists such as the marqueteur Varlot, the bronze designer Brandely or the sculptors Fremiet and Guillemin collaborated with Diehl to execute his most intricate pieces.
The present meuble d'appui, with its finely-inlaid marquetry panels and sumptuous caryatid mounts, was shown on Diehl's award-winning stands at both the 1873 International Exhibition in Vienna, and the 1878 Exhibition in Paris (see the Art Journal exhibition catalogue engraving above).
An identical model meuble d'appui with similarly stamped lockplate, is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris (O.A.O.336).