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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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French Neo-Pompeian Brass and Marble Gueridon | circa 1890


Regular Price: $9,800.00
Gallery Price: $8,500.00
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catalog text

With leopard masks and raised on animal paws; France, circa 1890
Item # 402PZW06W 

This gueridon table is a fine example that reflects the Neo-Pompeian style of antiquity. Its design aligns with the Neoclassical revival of the Grand Tour and Victorian periods where clientele of the best designers were demanding a refresh on the earliest discoveries of furniture and sculpture of classical antiquity.

The loose inspiration for the form probably springs from the Throne of Dagobert held in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, a work of art believed to have been modeled in the 7th century. The most well-distributed innovations on this table were the designs of Ferdinand Levillain produced by Ferdinand Barbedienne and exhibited in the Exposition Universelle of 1889. They also produced a series of tables under the direction of Louis-Constant Sevin after he joined the firm in 1855 and made various iterations of that form - some with the sand-cast and chiseled bas-relief top that Levillain was credited for, others with stone tops, variations in size and various compositions around the stand.

There were also earlier interpretations of this form starting in the Regency era that remain unattributed to a specific designer and show a much longer history for the form. One such example would be the gueridon in the Collection du Mobilier National of France (acc. no. GML-9813-000), which showcases essentially the same form as the present table, including the tubular elements behind the animal legs to which the X-stretchers affix. A nearly identical example to the model in the Collection du Mobilier National, also from the first half of the 19th century and pre-dating the Barbedienne models, was offered at Sotheby's in Paris, 14 October 2021 in the "Autour de la princesse de Salm | Arts et littérature" sale, lot 40, where it achieved a final sale price of 23,940 euros.

The present example is distinct and individual from the above noted examples, showing a certain air of ingenuity. It features a circular inset top of black marble set over an internal oak wood plate, creating a full depth within the rim that allows the top to be firmly secured with three screws from the underside of the rim.

The body of the table is beautifully fabricated. The thin and delicately reeded rim is raised on curls of foliage over the Leopard head masks, their mouths opened in a silent roar. These masks transition seamlessly into monopodia supports, the klismo form being distinctly feline in its design; they terminate in substantial animal paw feet. The sabots are raised over a polished brass socle. The structural composition of the table is made firm with ‘X’-form cross stretchers of gilt-bronze with small bas-relief circular effigies of a satyr at the cross-section.

The balance of the overall proportions and the dissection of negative space with the X-stretchers is compelling. It truly is a table of perfectly harmonious scale with each element relating to the next with well-considered attention to size, projection and curve. The juxtaposition of polished brass and dark marble are most effective at grabbing the full attention of the viewer and making a relatively small table feel larger than life.

Measurements: 27" H x 11 3/4" diameter

Condition Report:
A fine overall surface polish with traces of grime, oxidization and remnants of scuffing. One leg presents with some light abrading in the "shin". Marble top with some flea bites around the edges and a few scratches, one more visible than the others. Trace verdigris in crevices. An incredibly fine presentation, ready to place.