Gorgeous antique French Napoleon III era "Alph. Giroux" marked 12 3/8" cigar presenter, a tantalus style smoker's chest or cabinet with marquetry style ebonized inlay and sliding cigar shelves with accoutrement drawer! Not overly extravagant, this one in what looks like a fruitwood with ebonized trim, very Napoleon III looking and as elegant as can be. Not a humidor, there is no moisture control additions and the chest would have been mostly for having cigars at the ready. The lid and front panel open up completely, tantalus style, to four inner sliding trays, each tray holds twelve cigars for a total of 48 and the carved grooves are 5 1/4" in length.
François-Simon-Alphonse Giroux (died May 1, 1848 in Paris) was a French art restorer and ébéniste. Alphonse Giroux, "the merchant of the princes", was an important Parisian manufacturer of luxury furniture and accessories, whose products were intended for an aristocratic and bourgeois clientele. Founded by François-Simon-Alphonse Giroux under the name "A. GIROUX in PARIS", it was taken over by the Giroux children and remained active under the name of "Alphonse Giroux et Cie" until 1867, when the direction is taken over by Ferdinand Duvinage. He studied painting under Jacques-Louis David, and founded an art restoration business near the end of the 18th century. He was the official restorer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and collected and exhibited art by Louis Daguerre, Charles Marie Bouton, Charles Arrowsmith, Charles Renoux, and others. Giroux is also known for constructing the daguerreotype cameras designed by Daguerre, the first commercially manufactured photographic camera in the world. A mass-produced daugerrotype camera cabinet manufactured by Giroux, who was the brother-in-law of Louis Daguerre, was exhibited at the 1839 Exposition des produits de l'industrie française in Paris. It did not win an award, although Giroux did gain a silver medal for a jewelry box.
Louis XVIII solicited Alphonse Giroux to produce the gifts of the children of France: a golden carriage now kept in the Carnavalet Museum. The horses in mother-of-pearl are harnessed with gold, and the coach is adorned with emeralds and glazed in rock crystal.
Moving towards cabinetmaking around 1830, the store continues to provide, among other things, beautiful objects that can be offered to children and ladies: toys, sewing kits, sewing tables, boxes and mirrors. The aesthetics of Alphonse Giroux's creations often took inspiration from the styles of the 18th century, but it was far from repeating past models. One of his cabinets exhibited at the World’s Fair of 1855 seduced the Empress Eugenie. The cabinet is now kept in the Compiegne Palace.
Very good condition. There are faint signs of ebony stain in the inner lighter wood areas, as if someone has gone over the black areas in a few places. There are a few small veneer chips visible on the left side, near the front where it meets the front panel. Original piano hinge and working lock with key, original turned brass or bronze drawer pulls, too. A small darkened spot on the lid. See pictures for all measurements.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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