The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Work-table
  • Work-table
  • Adam Weisweiler (1744 - 1820)
  • France
  • 1786 - 1790
  • Oak veneered with satinwood, tulipwood, ebony, amaranth and box; gilt-bronze, Wedgwood jasper cameos
  • Object size: 76.5 x 65.8 x 38.5 cm
  • Stamp: 'A. WEISWEILER'
    Stamp: 'PLS DES TUI'
    Label: '123 X X'
    Inscription: 'Pierre'
  • F325
  • Boudoir
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • With its slim columns and exquisite decoration, this table vividly evokes the elegance and intimacy of a lady’s apartment at the end of the Ancien Régime. The past-times for a wealthy lady included embroidery or tapestry, or similar needlework, and typically a table like this was designed to hold the various accoutrements for such activities. One of the long sides of the top can be lowered by pressing a spring-loaded knob on either side in order to provide greater ease of access to this tier.
    The table was made by Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820), who often worked for one of the most successful dealers in Paris, Dominique Daguerre (d. 1796). Sixteen Wedgwood jasper cameos depicting classical subjects, such as the Triumph of Cupid (top centre) and the Nurture of Bacchus (at the ends of the second tier), have been used to decorate the table and it is likely that Daguerre had access to these after the commercial treaty of 1786 which allowed trade between Britain and France.
    A stamp under the bottom tier of the table ('PLS DES TUI') reveals that it was once in the Tuileries Palace and we know from an inventory of 1807 that it stood in one of Empress Josephine's salons. The Tuileries was the main Parisian residence of Napoleon and Josephine following their coronation as Emperor and Empress of France in 1804. We do not know of its location after 1809, when it was still recorded in the Tuileries, but it was in the collection of the 4th Marquess of Hertford by 1865. Its appeal as a lady's piece of furniture had evidently not diminished by the end of the 19th century, when Lady Wallace is recorded as having it in her boudoir in Hertford House.