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  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1863-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Guéret Frères (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved walnut

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This cabinet was made by the cabinet-making firm of Guéret Frères. The firm was founded in 1853 and continued in production until the end of the 19th century. From 1855 onwards it exhibited regularly at the great international exhibitions and often won medals. It was particularly noted for its carved furniture. This is a particularly fine example.

Like most French firms about 1850, Guéret Frères based their designs on revivals of 18th-century and earlier styles. The decoration of this cabinet follows the Louis XVI style of approximately 1774–93. The legs are in the form of tapered columns. There are many other references to classical decoration, including the swags of laurel, the vases or urns on the lower tier, and the figure of the dancing nymph on the main oval panel. In the 18th century such decoration on furniture was more commonly carried out in the form of applied gilt-bronze mounts or painted porcelain plaques. This is not the only aspect that Guéret Frères adapted for their new design. The overall form of the piece is a cabinet with glass doors for the display of porcelain or small sculpture. This was popular in the mid 19th century but would not have been known in the period of Louis XVI.

Physical description

A cabinet on stand in carved walnut, in Louis XVI style. The cabinet is raised on eight tapering, legs, set in two sets of four. These are linked just above foot level by x-shaped stretchers, the crossings set with carved urns, the two x shapes united across the width of the piece by a single stretcher. The legs support a desk-like structure of drawers, in the form of a bureau mazarin, the front of the drawers and the edge of the top carved in inset panels. This desk section supports a break-front cabinet section, the two outer sections set with glass door and shelves, the central section with with a solid door embellished with an oval carved plaque showing a nymph playing a tambourine, the oval surmounted by carved swags.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1863-1867 (made)


Guéret Frères (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved walnut

Marks and inscriptions

Carved on cartouche

Meubles GUÉRET Frères / 7 R. Buffault 7, 5 Bd. de la Madeleine 5
Engraved on lock of central drawer


Height: 175 cm, Width: 138 cm, Depth: 54.5 cm

Descriptive line

French, 1875-7, man. Gueret Freres, carved walnut

to Cabinet, 4 old 1 new

Labels and date

'America and Europe', July 2016:

About 1877

The cabinetmaking firm Guéret Frères, established by Denis-Désiré and Onésime Guéret in Paris in 1853, was renowned for its carved furniture. This is a particularly fine example. The carved decoration on this cabinet is based on a revival of the Louis XVI style of approximately 1774–93. In 1878, Guéret Frères showed a similar cabinet at the International Exhibition in Paris.

France, Paris, designed and manufactured by Guéret Frères
Walnut; glass; gilt-tooled leather
Carved on cartouche: ‘GUÉRET FRES / PARIS’ and engraved on lock of central drawer: ‘Meubles GUÉRET Frères / 7 R. Buffault 7, 5 Bd. de la Madeleine 5’
Museum no. W.17-1980



'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

Denis-Désiré and Onésime Guéret were established as specialist makers of carved furniture from 1853. This cabinet, whose lock is engraved 'GUERET Freres 7 Rue Buffault, 5 Bd. de la Madeleine' , must have been made before they moved from that address in 1877. A similar cabinet, also in a revived Louis XVI style, was shown by this firm at the Paris 1878 Exhibition. [1987-2006]




Joinery; Carving

Subjects depicted

Tambourine; Laurel; Vase




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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