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A Majestic Louis-Philippe Giltwood and Gilt Composition Bed

FRANCE, Circa 1850

REF No. B71464


Height :127 cm | 50 in
Width :184 cm | 72¹/₂ in
Depth :241 cm | 94⁷/₈ in


A Majestic Louis-Philippe Giltwood and Gilt Composition King Size Bed, after a model by Francois-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter, the outwardly curved headboard flanked by two open-winged swans on foliate cornucopia supports ending in hoof-feet, the side-boards decorated with flower-filled scrolling acanthus and flower garlands, the foot-end with conforming cornucopia supports overflowing with fruits and flowers.

This bed is identical in design to the one supplied to the Empress Joséphine by Francois-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter for Malmaison in 1810 (L. de Groër, Les Arts Décoratifs de 1790 à 1850, (Fribourg), 1985; p. 84, fig. 137).

An inventory taken upon the death of Joséphine of the contents of Malmaison lists in 1814 as item 486: ...une couchette en bois sculpté et doré, avec son estrade, couverte en drap rouge, garnie de trois matelas de laine couverts de futaine blanche... This bed was moved to Bavaria by her son, prince Eugène, who gave it to Napoléon III when he visited Malmaison in 1867. (S. Grandjean, Inventaire après Décès de I'Impératrice Joséphine à Malmaison, (Paris), 1964, pp. 99 and 100).


One of the most important and influential families of cabinet-makers who led fashion and standards from 1765 to 1847. Their work encompasses three generations of the family, from George Jacob (the founder, 1739-1814), to his two sons Georges II (1768-1803) and François-Honoré-Georges (1770-1841), and finally his grandson Georges-Alphonse (1799-1870). They ran one of the most successful and influential furniture workshops in Paris

George Jacob (Senior) was one of the most prominent Parisian master menuisiers, producing carved, painted and gilded beds and seat furniture and upholstery work for the French royal châteaux, in the early Neoclassical style that is usually associated with Louis XVI. He retired in 1796, leaving his workshop in the hands of his sons, but when George II died, Jacob returned from retirement to oversee the constant supply of furnishings for Napoleon's residences.

François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter was the principal supplier of furniture to the Emperor and also received commissions from Pauline Borghese, Napoleon's sister in Rome, and the Empresses Joséphine and Marie Louise, for whom he supplied numerous pieces for the Château de Malmaison, the Château de Compiègne, the Tuileries Palace, and other imperial residences. Important commissions included a magnificent cradle built for the infant King of Rome, and the most expensive single item, the jewel cabinet for the Empress, delivered in 1809 for the Empress Joséphine's state bedroom in the Tuileries

Georges-Alphonse Jacob Desmalter was to see the business flourish from 1830 to 1847. He exhibited at all the most important exhibitions, selling furniture to the Royal Family and receiving many royal commissions. His style was an up-to-date version of the Empire style typified under Charles X and Louis-Philippe period using indigenous woods and 'bois clairs'.

Stamp: 'A. Jacob', marque au fer 'A.Jacob FS & Cie. B. de Bondy 30', 'A-Jacob Desmalter A Paris' and from 1830-1847 'Jacob'. Lockplates were often signed 'A. Jacob-Desmalter' or, more simply 'A. Jacob'.

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise 'Les Ebenistes du XIX Siecle', (Paris) 1984, pps. 267-372.

François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter

A Majestic Louis-Philippe Giltwood and Gilt Composition Bed

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