Paris, E. Maincent, 1855-1866.
Oblong folio gathering 66 full-page plates including 54 in colours, slight foxing. Brown quarter calf, covers in green percaline, label on the front cover bearing the handwritten mention “Salon Louis XVI”, some wear. Contemporary binding.
263 x 347 mm.
Rare and superb collection of lithographs dedicated to the Parisian furniture in the middle of the 19th century.
Désiré Guilmard (1810-1885) is a geometer, designer specialized in furniture and founder of the furniture paper ‘Le Garde-meuble ancien et moderne’.
“In 1839 Guilmard creates a periodical publication of furniture, Le Garde-meuble ancient et modern.
Le Garde-meuble offers 6 issues a year each containing 9 lithographs divided into 3 categories: seats, furniture and curtains in different styles (Renaissance, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI…) showing sometimes views of bedrooms and interior design. The publication was issued every two months until 1935, long after Guilmard death which occurred in Paris in 1885.
This publication deals with old and new furniture. Guilmard draws with great accuracy about 50 plates a year, lithographed by several artists and intended for artisans, carpenters, cabinetmakers and amateurs. The earliest lithographs of the Garde-meuble are not known; it is only from the seventh issue dated October 5th 1839 that they are registered to the legal deposit.
Active during more than 40 years, Guilmard drew thousands of plates edited under several titles of publications. Following the Garde-meuble ancien et moderne few publications are published in the 1840’s such as Le Garde-meuble riche, Le Garde-meuble simple, Le Petit Garde-meuble and L’Ameublement et l’utile. Le Garde-meuble riche presents a collection of seats and curtains in the Renaissance style, or in the style Louis XV, Louis XVI, etc. intended for the furnishing of castles, palaces, and rich hotels, through plates issued in black and white or in colours.
Désiré Guimard wishes above all to share the furniture models of his time with the greatest accuracy, offering the enthusiasts and the professionals a comprehensive illustrated catalogue of the contemporary production.
His researches on ornamentation and his knowledge of the structures, patterns and styles of French furniture are considerable.
Guilmard didn’t produce any furniture but he contributed through thousands of drawings to an extraordinary diffusion of the French furniture style.
The present collection contains 66 full-page plates of furniture drawn by Guilmard and lithographed by Destouches and Midart, of which 13 of furniture, 14 of curtains, 27 of seats and 12 coming from the Garde-meuble simple. Among these 66 lithographs 54 have been hand-coloured at the time in very vivid shades.
They depict sofas, chairs, curtains, coffee tables, consoles, mirrors, pedestal tables, window boxes, living room interiors, etc. in the style of Louis XVI, showing the taste of the time.
Precious and rare illustrated catalogue of the French furniture production in the middle of the 19th century.