Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Paris (possibly, made)
    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1860-80 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Solid mahogany and mahogany veneered on oak, with inset plaque of porcelain or bone china and gilt-bronze mounts

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 5

Object Type
This stand was made to support a reading light or as an occasional table. Such pieces are sometimes known by the French name guéridon, a term originally used in the 17th century for a circular tray on a pillar, made of carved and gilded wood, used to support a candelabrum. The form was adapted in the 18th century as a small veneered table, but this example was probably made in the19th century, in London, as an imitation of late18th-century models.

Materials & Making
The top is inset with a soft-paste porcelain plaque, perhaps made originally as a plate at the French national porcelain factory at Sèvres, near Paris. It was probably later ground down to form this table top. The decoration was almost certainly applied in the 19th century, probably by expert flower painters in Britain who sought to imitate the fine work of the painters at Sèvres.

This stand belonged to John Jones, a military tailor who made considerable profits from supplying military uniforms to the army and navy between 1827 and 1881, especially during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Jones was a keen and discerning collector of 18th-century French furniture. He may have bought this stand believing it to be a late 18th-century antique or purchased it new in London. On his death in 1882 the South Kensington Museum (later the V&A) received Jones's furniture, books and art works, which became the Museum's founding collection of French fine and decorative arts.

Physical description

One of a pair of tripod stands or ,guéridons of oak, veneered with mahogany & ebony, and with gilt bronze mounts. Each stand is raised on three short cabriole legs, jointed into an hexagonal block of solid mahogany, below a facetted (eight-sided) column, the facets set with gilt-bronze mounts of a continuous spiral of oak leaves around a zigzag. The faces of the block are set wtih gilt-bronze paterae and the tops of the legs are set with gilt-bronze acanthus and the edges with gilt-bronze gadrooning. The feet are set with gilt-bronze masks. The top surface is set with a porcelain plaque decorated with an central image of large pink and yellow roses tied with a blue bow on a white ground with a gold border edged by a blue and gold floral background. The top has gilt bronze diamond trellis trimming around the edge supported by a plain gilt bronze band below.

Place of Origin

Paris (possibly, made)
London (possibly, made)


1860-80 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Solid mahogany and mahogany veneered on oak, with inset plaque of porcelain or bone china and gilt-bronze mounts


Weight: 3 kg, Height: 76.5 cm, Diameter: 34 cm at foot level

Object history note

Possibly made in Paris by Paul Sormani (born in Canzo, France, 1817, died in Paris, 1877)
The object is stamped Jean-Henri Riesener, although it was later discovered that the piece was probably an imitation.

Descriptive line

Tripod table or Guéridon; oak, veneered, porcelain plaque; stamped Jean-Henri Riesener, France or England, 1780-1800.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
From about 1820 British collectors eagerly bought 18th-century French porcelain-mounted furniture. French and English furniture makers soon offered new versions of these decorative pieces. [25/03/2003]

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Ribbons


British Galleries


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.