Absolutely magnificent French Empire
style marble topped sideboard.
Actually made in France unlike most
furniture today that is people call
'French' but it not.

This exquisitely made buffet has
the metal makers label on the inside
of the right drawer which states:-

This furniture manufacturer was
established in 1828 by Claude Mercier
at 15, Rue Beautrellis, Paris.
They moved shortly afterwards to
100, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine,
where it became known as Mercier Frères
in 1867.
It remained at this location in the heart
of the Parisian furniture making district
until it's sad demise in 1986.

Mercier Freres exhibited at the Exposition
des Produits de l'Industrie Française in
1844 and 1849, and participated in most of
the major International Exhibitions of the
latter half of the century.
They were considered one of the leading
French design firms of the late 19th
century and well into the 20th.
In fact in 1924, Mercier Frères was chosen to
represent France in the Exposition Française
de New York, an important trade fair that was
held in the Grand Central Palace.

Our buffet sideboard is a very fine example
of their work.
It is in the French Empire style from the
early 1800s but the Art Deco style maker's
tag shows it to be a 1920s version.
I found a website selling genuine magazine
advertisements for Mercier Freres.
One of these is dated 1929 and has an
Empire style fall front desk in the
ad which is very similar in design style
to our buffet and in particular the
magnificent metal mounts look to be
very similar.

Our buffet measures 140cm wide, by
44cm deep by 98cm high.

The ormolu metalware has dulled
overtime which in my eyes looks
fabulous but originally it would
have been blindingly gold in colour.
Ormolu can be brightened up if desired.
The rich flame mahogany veneers are
all good and the extraordinary
'hairy paw feet' are a little
scuffed but will clean up nicely.
The original marble top has been
repaired and there has a chip on
the right side and a small one
on the front edge (see photos).
This can be replaced but it is such
a rich veined green marble that
you don't notice the repairs
or the chips really either.
I would happily live with it
the way it is.


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