Monday, April 13, 2009
A guéridon is a small, often circular center table supported by one or more columns, or sculptural human, or mythological figures. This kind of furniture originated in France towards the middle of the seventeeth century. Early guéridon were often supported by an African, ancient Egyptian or ancient Greek human figure.
Ranging in style from the humble, used to hold a candlestick or vase, the guéridon could also be a high style decorative piece of court furniture. By the death of Louis XIV there were several hundreds of them at Versailles, and within a generation they had taken an infinity of forms: columns, tripods, termini and mythological figures. Some of the simpler and more artistic forms were of wood carved with familiar decorative motives and gilded. Silver, enamel, and indeed almost any material from which furniture can be made, have been used for their construction. A variety of small occasional tables are now guridons in French.
It is important not to forget the styles of the past. Often times I see other designers rushing about trying to fill a space with furniture. A fabric here, a pillow there. They often have little regard to the history of a piece of furniture. How or why it was used. They may not even know themselves. What they are selling becomes a $ sign to line their pocket. The experienced responsible designer should remember the past. They should know how to implement it into the home of their client. An informed client should hire an experienced designer. Then they can truly appreciate what they have purchased. The design process should be a fun experience to learn and acquire knowledge, not just to fill a room with fine furnishings.
The elegant gueridon is the forerunner of the side table or even the nesting table. They are fun tables to be used to set a cup of tea on , to lay your latest novel on or place an exquisite glass Chihuly.
They can be moved around in the room when entertaining for extra dining in a crowded room of guests.
These easy to use pieces compliment any interior project and they can be used the same way they were used in the French court. These tables are still popular today. You can purchase them at www.wshome.com or www.bakerfurniture.com. They can also be purchased by your decorator through wholesale vendors such as www.niermannweeks.com or the www.williamswiztercollection.com