Le Garde-meuble

Introduction by Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner

Désiré Guilmard
Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, 1839-1935
by Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner
Click here for a Printer Friendly Version of this Introduction (Requires Adobe Acrobat)

Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne (Furniture repository, ancient and modern), a bimonthly periodical published in Paris, exerted an enormous influence throughout the world by promoting French styles in furniture, fabrics, and interior decoration for a nearly a century, beginning in 1839 during the reign of Louis Philippe and ceasing in the waning years of the Third Republic around 1935.

Created by furniture designer and publisher Desire Guilmard, the periodical consisted entirely of illustrations of designs for furniture, window treatments and room settings. Its title, Le Garde-meuble, refers back to 1663 when Louis XIV established an office by this name within the royal household to provide for the care of the furnishings in the royal residences. Guilmard added the subtitle, ancien et moderne, to indicate that the periodical would feature both historic revival styles (such as Louis XIV, Louis XV, Gothic, and Renaissance) and current ones (notably the "moderne" styles) that incorporated new technological innovations and better accommodated the life styles of the nineteenth century.

The more than 400 colorful images included in this Smithsonian Institution Libraries' online document represent SIL's nearly complete set of the early issues of Le Garde-meuble, those folios published from 1841 through 1851. Depicting a wide variety of furniture types and styles, the pictures were executed in such a highly skilled and detailed manner that even today they continue to be an exceptionally rich visual resource for furniture restorers, set designers, historians, curators, historic preservationists, upholsterers, and interior decorators.

Each installment of Le Garde-meuble contained up to nine loose plates of lithographs--three illustrating sièges (seating furniture), three depicting meubles (case furniture, i.e., non-seating objects such as cabinets, chests, tables, etc.) and three picturing tentures (bed and window hangings). The division between seating and case furniture originated in the French pre-Revolutionary guild tradition when chairs were made only by menuisiers (carpenters) and case furniture by the ébénistes (cabinetmakers). Occasionally the periodical also provided printed floor plans and illustrations of rooms. These depicted the proper arrangement of furniture (including the number of pieces considered appropriate for a particular room) and the recommended floor and ceiling patterns, wall decorations, brackets and shelf designs, together with harmonizing draperies and upholstery fabrics specifically designed for high-style interiors.

Intended as a practical guide for decorators, architects, cabinetmakers, upholsterers and designers, the Le Garde-meuble lithographs contained such clear and copious detail that craftsmen could easily develop working drawings from the images. They could trace, enlarge and adapt the scaled illustrations in much the same way as they had done with earlier pattern books featuring French and British architecture and furniture. The clarity of the intricate details in Le Garde-meuble-the carving, marquetry, inlay, fabric patterns, garniture (trimmings) and passementerie (braids, tapes and tassels) is remarkable. The hand-tinting of the plates also served to convey the era's prevailing tastes in color. Dense glazes suggested furniture surface treatments such as gleaming French-polishes, ebonizing, grained-painted highlights, and the use of glistening gilt bronze mounts.

Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, contains no lengthy essays or descriptive text. However, the captions on each plate include such information as the furniture form, style, material, or its appropriate room setting (i.e."Fauteuil et chaise de second salon où de boudoir" [Arm chair and side chair for the second salon or the ladies' private sitting room] or; "Table de canapé. Nouveau genre. Bois un imitation ébène avec appliques de cuivre doré. [Bedside table. New style. Wood in imitation of ebony with gilded brass inlay.]) (1) Each bi-monthly edition was assigned a volume number or livraison and each individual plate is numbered sequentially within the set. Since the plates are undated, this numbering system helps researchers to determine the approximate publication year of the images. (2)

Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, consisted of loose plates assembled within a cover. Extant examples describe several subscription options. Plates were available in black and white or in a hand-colored format. In 1851, a Parisian could get an annual subscription to a complete set of 54 black and white plates for 22 ½ francs (about $83 in today's dollars), to a set of 54 hand-colored plates for 36 francs (about $132 in today's dollars). Foreign subscriptions were slightly higher (in 1851, the complete black and white set sold for 30 francs and the colored set for 45 francs). Subscriptions for a single category (i.e., Le siege--seating furniture) were also available. (3)

The delineator (furniture designer) and the printer also are recorded on each plate, and occasionally credit is given to the manufacturers of the étoffe (upholstery material); the broderies (embroidery); the garniture (trimmings); the passementerie (braids, tapes and tassels); and less frequently, the ébéniste (cabinetmaker) or fabrique (manufacturer) featured in the illustration.

The period represented by Le Garde-meuble illustrates French furniture styles in vogue during the reigns of Louis-Philippe (1830-1848) (fig. 1) and Napoleon III during the Second Empire (1850-1871), through to the Third Republic (1870-1940). This last period included the Belle Epoque and the Art Nouveau (1880-1914) and Art Deco (1918-1939) movements. The first two decades of Le Garde-meuble's publication corresponded to a period of intense economic growth and change in France brought about by the industrial revolution and the rebuilding of the city of Paris by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussman (1809-1891). As a consequence, mid-century France underwent a re-evaluation of its historical architecture and ornament: the Parisian cabinetmaking industry began to draw on the furniture styles closely connected to royal patronage during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The plates of the first three decades of Le Garde-meuble depict several of these revival styles. Among them are: (1) the richly-upholstered, heavy furniture inspired by the reign of Louis XIV;
(2) the softer, more sinuous, rococo style of Louis XV furniture, which is characterized by s-shaped cabriole legs; (3) the straight lines, controlled arc, and spare ornamentation of furniture derived from the Louis XVI style; and (4) carved and ornamented Renaissance furniture for bedrooms and dining rooms. (See figs. 2, 3, 4, 5.)

The furniture of the Second Empire reflected Napoleon III's interest in Roman styles and the Empress Eugenie's fascination with Marie-Antoinette and the furnishings of her residences. Within the plates of Le Garde-meuble, the imperial couple's preferences resulted in the appearance of an abundance of heavily carved vieux bois (old wood) Renaissance seating furniture and beds with spindle turnings, thus reflecting a more accurate interpretation of Gothic and Renaissance furniture. Other illustrations included Louis XVI chairs, which of course featured straight lines and a modest use of delicately wrought gilt bronze mounts.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the furniture plates of Le Garde-meuble demonstrated the skills and expertise of the upholsterer with depictions of lushly upholstered furniture trimmed in passementerie (braids, tapes and tassels). These were variously termed Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Henri II, and Renaissance.

Innovative Art Nouveau furniture, characterized by limply swaying, curving lines that depicted shapes and motifs drawn from nature, was represented in Le Garde-meuble in the form of suites of dining rooms and bedroom furniture - with the beds, commodes, cupboards, tables, desks and sideboards rendered in sensuous light woods. Art Deco furniture made up the final designs illustrated in the pages of Le Garde-meuble. It is characterized by classical, rectilinear and symmetrical forms with glistening surfaces made of oak, mahogany, rosewood, ebony and satinwood.

Little is known about the life of the Parisian publisher of Le Garde-meuble, Désiré Guilmard (c. 1810-c.1885), except that he founded the publishing firm of D. Guilmard in 1839. Because his name appears as the "delineator" of the majority of the furniture plates in Le Garde-meuble, many historians presumed he was a furniture designer. However, he is not known to have had a furniture shop, nor are there any signed examples of his furniture extant. We do know that Guilmard was closely connected to the Parisian design community and, through his numerous publications (see below), became an influential purveyor of taste. He was also an exceptionally able businessman who promoted French furniture and design during a fifty-year period of rapidly changing tastes. In the mid-l880s, the publisher identified on the plates of Le Garde-meuble was changed to "E. Maincent /D. Guilmard fondateur," which presumably signaled the end of Guilmard's productive life and career. (4)

Although best known for Le Garde-Meuble, ancien et moderne, Guilmard also created several illustrated books, supplements, albums, and specialized publications documenting historic and contemporary design. Illustrated serials or supplements such as L'Ameublement et l'utile (furniture and its use) (1849--) and Le Garde-meuble riche (high-end furniture repository) focused on furniture and interior design patterns of a particular style or use. In addition, Guilmard compiled a series of albums in notebook format consisting of plates of designs that he developed himself as well as designs supplied by contemporary leading French cabinetmakers and tradesmen. Publications such as Album du menuisier parisien (Parisian carpenter's album) (1845-55) and Le tournear parisien (The Parisian wood turner) (1853) were aimed at specific trades within the Paris furniture industry: woodworkers, sculptors, tapestry makers, decorators, turners, cabinetmakers, and gardeners. Other notebooks (i.e. Album du fabricant des billards [Notebook on the making of billiard tables]) (1864-66)) (5) contained designs for specific items such as billiard tables, and cornices, rods, and canopies for beds and windows.

Guilmard reported on the activities and entries at national and international trade fairs and expositions in such works as: Le Garde-meuble album de l'exposition de industrie de 1844 (Furniture repository album of the industry exhibition of 1844); Le Garde-meuble album de l'exposition de l'industrie de 1848 (Furniture repository album of the industry exhibition of 1848); and Le Garde-meuble de l'exposition universelle de 1855 (Furniture repository of the universal exposition of 1855). (6) Additionally, Guilmard compiled longer historical publications that ranged from a survey of European engravers and artists to a ten-part series on the history of tapestries. (A selected list of these publications appears at the back of this essay after the list of "Figures," under the title, "Select Guilmard Publications.")

The Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Institution Libraries houses a rare, nearly-complete series of Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, issued during a ten-year period dating from 1841 through 1850-51, as well as several of the specialized volumes published by Désiré Guilmard that are mentioned above and at the end of this essay.

As no complete set of Le Garde-meuble survives, the Cooper-Hewitt series represents the only known library collection in the United States. (7) This nearly complete series features the historic revival styles loosely derived from furniture produced during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI; the Renaissance revival style, inspired by a taste for the antique and evocative of forms from the sixteenth century and their use of old oak (vieux bois or vieux chene) and motifs such as finial heads, garlands and urns; and a few examples of the Gothic revival styles, which were characterized by the application of medieval architectural ornament to furniture.

The Cooper-Hewitt holdings comprise:

Seating furniture and case furniture: 313 plates;
Drapery and window treatments: 155 plates;
Floor plans: four plates (a Louis VX salon; a second salon, or ladies sitting room; a bedroom; and a dining room);
Room views: seven plates.

The four-hundred and sixty-nine plates in the collection begin with Livraison 23, plate 120 (sièges and meubles) (seating furniture and case furniture) and plate 57 (tentures) (bed and window hangings) and continue sequentially for a ten-year period through to Livraison 74, plate 431 (sièges and meubles).

An important part of the Cooper-Hewitt holdings are twelve plates from the 1849 L'Exposition de l'industrie (Exposition of Industry), illustrating entries by several of Paris's leading cabinetmakers, upholsters and tapissiers (tapestry makers). (8) These include three plates of seating furniture exhibited by the firm of Jeanselme Frères (active 1824), a leading Parisian chair manufacturer and Fournisseur du Mobilier de la Couronne (Furnisher to the Crown) to Louis-Philippe; as well as selected entries of the Parisian tapissier, Mr. Descartes; and those of the fabriquers (manufacturers), Mssers. Bordeaux, Quignon, Richtaedt and Bertaud.

The decade represented by the Le Garde-meuble in the Cooper-Hewitt collection includes the last half of the reign of Louis-Philippe (r. 1830-1848), the political upheavals and economic travails of the February Revolution of l848 when Louis-Philippe was forced to abdicate and flee to England, and the first three years of the Second Republic (1848-1852), when Louis Napoleon assumed the post of President. These were years of vast changes in terms of wealth, population, and consumption not only in France, but also in Great Britain and the United States, where the cachet attached to owning expensive French furniture further helped to expand the French cabinetmaking industries.

As Paris began rebuilding (creating larger streets, new plazas, and English-style parks), expansive flats in newly-built apartment houses in newly-created districts such as the Parc Monceau became not only the centers of Parisian social life, but also symbols of position and refinement. The French bourgeoisie furnished and equipped these flats with the newest furniture styles. The salon, the petit salon, the salle à manger, and boudoirs of these French homes were all filled with furniture, carpets, looking glasses, wallpapers, and decorative objects that provided a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment (9). Different rooms had their own particular styles. The salle a manger (dining room) generally featured oak and walnut carved Renaissance furniture, with stands of plants, buffets and an étagère. The salon (living room) was filled with matching sets of small portable chairs and large sofas in Louis XV, XIV, and XVI styles. Boudoirs (bedrooms) were furnished with beds adorned with masses of upholstery, creating a sense of luxury and security.

At this time, most cabinetmakers adopted semi-industrialized techniques in the production of furniture. This allowed them to reinterpret the detail associated with seventeenth and eighteenth century styles that otherwise would have been too labor-intensive to be profitable. Machines were used to rough out the basic form of a piece that would be later be finished by hand carving. Lavishly ornamented Renaissance revival case pieces could now be produced at reasonable prices. Other innovations such as steam-driven saws and veneer knives were regularly employed to create beautifully-finished tables, beds, and buffets-also at a lower cost.

An 1835 German discovery in which silver or platinum replaced mercury as a backing for mirrors, resulted in the fashionable use of inset mirrors (glace) in the doors of cabinets and armoires, bookcases, desks, and the backs of buffets and consoles. The invention of coiled springs in 1828 for mattresses and deep-sprung horsehair seats accelerated the manufacture in France of deeply upholstered and tufted chairs at a time when domestic comfort reigned supreme. The use of buttoning in contrasting colors created a further illusion of bulging opulence-many of the plates of Le Garde-meuble are devoted to these tufted and luxurious chairs.

Advances in the production of textiles are also evident in the plates of Le Garde-meuble. General improvements in power-loom weaving increased both the quality and quantity of woven textiles, giving rise to a fashion for the arrangement of banners of matching materials illustrated in Le Garde-meuble as draperies for windows and baldaquins (canopies) for beds. The development of chemical dyes, by facilitating a broader range of permanent colors, transformed the hues used for silks, damasks, printed fabrics, and wallpaper. From a preponderance of red, green and blue velvet fabric decorated with symmetrical, stylized floral motifs in the Louis XIV style, textiles became embellished with flowers, ribbons, leaves and vertical stripes in pastel palettes on white backgrounds, suitable for Louis XV and XVI revival furniture. Machine-made lace that could be fashioned into sheer white window curtains and shades completely transformed the nature of window treatments in the 1850s. (See fig. 6.)

Women were rapidly becoming the center of the new kind of family life. The plates of Le Garde-meuble illustrate many new furniture forms designed to further women's social graces and pastimes. Ecrans (fire screens), tables á ouvrage (worktables), and sewing basket holders all allowed a hostess to work on her embroidery while sitting to the right of the fireplace and entertaining her guests. Evening piano playing necessitated not only a piano but also a chaise de piano (piano stool) and a Canterbury for holding sheet music. Mid-century innovations particularly popular in the dining room were two items that brought gardening indoors: the jardinière, an ambitious, complicated flower stand used for displaying huge masses of cut flowers; and the gardiniére, which was used for live plants. The chaise prie-dieu (kneeling chair), an upholstered chair with a high, straight back and a low seat deftly accommodated ladies with voluminous skirts. (See fig. 7.)

The salle à manger (dining room), with its round center table and paired buffets, came into fashion during the opening decades of the nineteenth century and became an enduring convention. A floor plan for a dining room (fig. 8) shows twenty pieces arranged around the perimeter of the room, with a round table occupying the middle. Included are fourteen chaises de salle à manger (delicate side chairs with upholstered seats); a buffet étagère (a serving table surmounted by a light stand holding tiers of shelves); an étagère de service and a pair of servants or side tables (specialized furniture for elaborate serving rituals associated with the prevailing convention of the service à la russe that replaced the service à la française in the nineteenth century). The buffet and étagère are two of the most ubiquitous pieces of case furniture featured in Le Garde-meuble. More than sixteen variations of both forms are illustrated in different historic and modern styles, many designed for a specific room or use.

The ever-growing ranks of the bourgeoisie sought warm, luxurious interiors where comfort and the art of conversation prevailed, and new furniture forms were created to meet these needs. Arm and side chairs became smaller and more portable. The addition of casters to chair legs facilitated the desire for ad hoc intimate conversations. Small side chairs were also designed for specific uses as library, bureau and desk chairs. The fauteuil confortable, a comfortable armchair (fig. 9) with a tall curved back, low seat, and a caned or pieced element on the top of the crest rail, is prevalent throughout the entire decade of the Cooper-Hewitt series of Le Garde-meuble. The upright piano was invented during this period, along with a special piano chair with a seat that moved - only one of several forms of piano chairs. Other innovations included the chaise fumeuse ("smoking" chair) for men; twin beds, which continued to be decked with canopies until the end of the nineteenth century; and la table de toilette (a table with shelves and a marble top for a washbasin) which was often in the same room as a coiffeuse (dressing table).

The plates in Le Garde-meuble serve as a visual dictionary of nineteenth-century French furniture, one that is particularly helpful to furniture historians wishing to distinguish between the many sofa and couch forms of the period. In the plates of Le Garde-meuble, for example, a tête-a-tete is illustrated as a small sofa suitable for two people-a smaller version of a canapé, a larger sofa that comfortably seats three (fig. 10). This differs from the more common interpretation of a tete-a-tete as two round chairs united by an s-shaped arm so that the sitters face one another. Thanks to the illustrations in Le Garde-meuble, we can also easily discern the difference between the chaise longue, an elongated chair designed for napping, and the divan, a large upholstered Turkish-style ottoman with a stuffed seat and back (fig. 11). The illustrations of Le Garde-meuble illustrate other subtle distinctions between the numerous étagère forms for walls, dining rooms and plants and the ways in which the étagère is combined with buffets for a dining room as opposed to a salon.

In the 1840s, America's taste for all things French was chronicled in a New York publication that reported: "The French language is heard all over a crowded drawing-room; and with costume entirely, and furniture mainly French, it is difficult…not to fancy one's self on the other side of the Atlantic." (10) Surviving furniture and numerous mid-nineteenth century sources record that the upper echelons of both New York and Philadelphia society strove to adopt French taste either by traveling to France to order furniture from Parisian cabinetmakers, or by visiting the elegant warerooms of New York's and Philadelphia's highly skilled cabinetmakers specializing in French furniture. The Philadelphia diary of Sidney George Fisher, for example, described Mrs. Israel Pemberton's new house on Spruce Street as being "the most beautiful I ever saw. All the furniture from Paris…just as you see in palaces in Europe…." (11) Similarly, a New York City periodical declared that French furniture had "come in lately with a rush" and that everyone was "furnishing anew, a la Françoise, from skylight to basement." (12)

This pervasive Francophilia enticed many accomplished cabinetmakers from Europe to America's major furniture-making centers. Among them were the Frenchmen Alexander Roux (1813-1886) and Auguste-Émile Ringuet-Leprince (1801-1886) who joined his brother-in-law, the architect Léon Marcotte (1824-1887) in establishing the successful firm of Ringuet-Leprince and L. Marcotte, (active in New York City between 1848 and 1887). German émigré cabinetmakers, Julius Dessoir (1801-1884), J. H. Belter (1804-1863), Anthony Kimbel (1822-1895) and Gustave Herter (1830-1898) in New York and George Henkels (1819-1883) in Philadelphia also established important cabinetmaking shops working in the French idiom. The native-born Charles A. Baudouine (1808-1895), parlayed his French Huguenot ancestry to become one of New York's leading mid-century cabinetmakers, specializing in Louis XV furniture and imported French textiles, furniture, and decorative accessories. New Yorkers were so accustomed to French furniture forms that when Baudouine disposed of the contents of his entire furniture warehouse in l850 he did not hesitate to use the French terms for many of the items --tête-à-têtes, bureau de dames, bonheur-de-jour, corbeilles de mariage, jardiniers, and fauteuils-that were to be auctioned off to the New York public. (13) This group of highly skilled craftsmen not only oversaw the production of French furniture in their own shops, they also imported French carpets, lighting fixtures, textiles and other decorative arts for their clients. It was a time when cabinetmakers were evolving into decorators, that is, tastemakers who completely furnished a client's home.

The patterns for French furniture crossed the Atlantic in three ways: with emigrating cabinetmakers; as imported furniture; and through the dissemination of furniture patterns in publications such as Le Garde-meuble. While much of the mid-nineteenth century French furniture produced in the United States suggests a knowledge of the lithographs in Le Garde-meuble, only a few surviving pieces and some archives actually confirm the presence of Le Garde-meuble subscriptions in New York and Philadelphia. The furniture includes two nearly identical rosewood side chairs (fig. 12) in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With their scalloped backs, asymmetrical cartouches and carved cabriole legs, the chairs appear to have been inspired by a Chaise de fantasie (fantasy chair) published in Le Garde-meuble in 1848 (fig. 13).Additionally, two plates published by D. Guilmard survive in the archives of the Armat-Skerrett-Logan family of Philadelphia. (14) The most persuasive evidence of the presence of Le Garde-meuble in the United States is a small promotional booklet published in l850 by the Philadelphia cabinetmaker, George Henkels. Titled An Essay on Household Furniture, the booklet features line-for-line copies of furniture illustrated in an 1844 Le Garde-meuble album de l'exposition de l'industries. (Furniture repository album of the exposition of industries) (fig. 14) Kenneth L. Ames, in his essay "Designed in France: Notes on the Transmission of French Style to America," records this copying of plates as well as the copying of a Renaissance-style table de salon (sitting room table) from Le Garde-meuble among the library furniture from Henkel's wareroom, as illustrated in Sloan's Homestead Architecture. (15) (See figs. 15 and 16.)


This rare collection of Le Garde-meuble's more than 400 hand-colored plates in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Cooper-Hewitt branch provides a small yet exceedingly rich and varied view of the highly influential French furniture and design produced between 1841 and 1851. This was a significant historical period that encompassed the implementation of new French forms, colors, patterns, and technologies in furniture not only in France but in the rest of Europe, in Great Britain and in the United States. The plates in Le Garde-meuble reflect the eager response of designers to the changing needs and taste of the mid-nineteenth century home. At the same time, Le Garde-meuble serves to document the work of the tradesmen and craftspersons of this period: Parisian carpenters and cabinetmakers, and the suppliers and manufacturers of trimmings, fabrics, wallpapers, and upholstery textiles. The extraordinarily high quality of the engravings--works of arts in themselves-ensure that they will continue to be an inspiration to historians, design professionals, and the general public for many years to come.

Adhémar, Jean, Jacques Lethève, and François Gard, Inventaire du fonds français après 1800 (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1985), vol. 10, pp. 480-50.

Ames, Kenneth L, "Designed in France: Notes on the Transmission of French Style to America," Winterthur Portfolio 12, ed. Ian M. G. Quimby (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, l977), pgs. 103-114.

Arminjon, Catherine, Yvonne Brunhammer, Madeleine Deschampgs, et al. L'Art de Vivre: Decorative Arts and Design in France, 1789-1889. New York: Vendome Press, 1989.

Dornsife, Samuel J., "Design Sources for Nineteenth-Century Window Hangings," Winterthur Portfolio 10, ed. Ian M. G. Quimby (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, l975), pgs. 71, 88-90.

Gere, Charlotte. Nineteenth-Century Decoration: The Art of the Interior. (New York: Henry Abrams, Inc.), 1989.

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise. Les Ébénistes Parisiens du XIXe Siecle (1795-1870). (Paris: F. De Nobele), l965.

Strickland, Peter L. L., "The Influence of the Second Empire on American Furniture." The Connoisseur, vol. 199 (December 1978), pgs. 265-276.

Voorsanger, Catherine Hoover, "Gorgeous Articles of Furniture: Cabinetmaking in the Empire City." Voorsanger, Catherine Hoover and John K. Howat, eds., Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861, exhibition catalogue. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2000), pgs. 287-325.

1. See Fauteuil and chaise. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et modern, livraison 38, No. 102 (Paris, 1844) ; and Table de canapé, Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et modern, livraison 41, No. 231 (Paris, 1844).

2. Seating and case furniture were sequenced together; bed and window hangings were given separate sequences. Pencil inscriptions and date stamps on a number of issues in the collection of Le Garde-meuble at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris strongly suggest a first publication date of l839. See Catherine Hoover Voorsanger, "'Gorgeous Articles of Furniture'; Cabinetmaking in the Empire City," Catherine Hoover Voorsanger, Jack Howat, ed. Art and the Empire City New York, 1825-1861. Exhibition catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000; fn. 138, p. 306. The author thanks Catherine Hoover Voorsanger for lending her the research notes she had taken at the Bibliothèque Nationale from 1997 to 1999. Dr. Voorsanger discovered the pencil inscriptions and date stamps on the Le Garde-meuble publications at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, which resulted in the adjustment of the dates of the Cooper-Hewitt series to 1841-1850/51.

3. Kenneth L. Ames, "Designed in France: Notes on the Transmission of French Style to America," Winterthur Portfolio 12 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977): 107-108.

4. The address of Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne remained unchanged, as did the format, and Maincent became the primary delineator.

5. Ames, p. 104 and M. Prevost, Roman D.'Amat, H. Tribout de Marem Dictionnaire de Biographie Française, vol. 6. (Paris: Librairie letouzey et Ane, 1989), p. 276, transcribed by Catherine Hoover Voorsanger in l997.

6. See Jean Adhémar, Jacques Lethève, and François Gard, Inventaire du fonds français après 1800 (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1985), vol. 10, pp. 480-50.

7. Other collections are in Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris and Bibliothèque Froney de Paris and privately held by Samuel Dornsife and Harvey Smith.

8. See Le Guarde-meuble, ancien et moderne, Livraison 67, Nos. 189, 190,191; Livraison 67, Nos. 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389; and Livriason 68, Nos. 390, 391.

9. Charlotte Gere, Nineteenth-Century Decoration: The Art of the Interior (New York: Henry Abrams, Inc.), 1989, illus. no. 262, p. 231.

10. "Sketches of New York," New Mirror, May 14, 1843, p. 85, as cited in Voorsanger 2000, p. 305.

11. Peter L. L. Strickland, "The Influence of The Second Empire on American furniture." The Connoisseur, vol. 199, no. 802 (December 1978), p. 257.

12. New Mirror, May 11, 1844, p. 90 as sited in Voorsanger 2000, p. 305 and fn. 135.

13. Voorsanger 2000, pgs. 306-307, 304, figs. 247, 248. The advertisement for Charles A. Baudouine's auction appeared in the Home Journal, October 26, 1850, p. 3. Chronology of Charles A. Baudouine prepared by Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner, Department of American Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

14. Strickland, 1978, p. 257.

15. Ames 1977, pgs.105-108, 112.

1. Queen Victoria's Sitting Room, Château d'Eu, by Adrien Dauzats. In the Royal Library, Windsor Castle; HM The Queen.

2. Chaise et Fauteuil de presentation. Fin Louis XIV. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 46, No. 259 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

3. Ameublement d'un salon. Genre Louis XV. Dessine au dixieme. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 33, No. 182 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York

4. Fauteuil style Louis XVI. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 49, No. 277 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

5. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Fauteuil et Chaise (Renaissance) Vieux bois. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 64, No. 367 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

6. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Salon de réception á la campagne. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 73, No. 209 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

7. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Ameublement d'une chambre á coucher. Genre Louis XV. Prie-Dieu. Chauffeuse Marquise. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 34, No. 188 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

8. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Ameublement d'une salle á manger. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 36, No. 96 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

9. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Fauteuils confortables. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 52, No. 296 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

10. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Tête-à-tête de salon. Nouveau genre. Bois uni, imitation ébène, avec appliques de cuivre doré. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 41, No. 228 (Paris, 1844). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

11. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Chaise longue, Divan. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 31, no. 186 (Paris, 18TK). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

12. (left) Possibly J. and J. Meeks, Side chair, ca. 1850. Rosewood; probably replacement underupholstery, replacement showcover; casters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Bradford A. Warner, 1969 69.258.9.
(right) Cabinetmaker unknown, New York City, Side chair, ca. 1850. Rosewood; probably replacement under upholstery, replacement showcover. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Friends of the American Wing Fund, l992 1992.81.

13. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Chaise de fantaisie. Lithograph with hand coloring, from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 35, no. 194 (Paris, 1844). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.

14. Upholstered chair. From George Henkels, An Essay on Household Furniture (Philadelphia, 1850), p. 12. Library Company of Philadelphia.

15. Jean-François Pochard, Fauteuil confortable. Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, pl. 18 ( Paris, 1844). Grand Rapids Public Library.

16. Library furniture from George Henkels's warerooms. From Samuel Sloan, Sloan's Homestead Architecture, fig. 198 (2nd ed., Philadelphia, 1867). Winterthur Museum Libraries.

17. Désiré Guilmard, designer, Table de Salon (Renaissance). Lithograph with hand coloring from Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne, livraison 31, No. 171 (Paris, 1843). Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Branch, New York.


L'Ameublement et l'utile (furniture and its use), beginning in 1849;
Le Garde-meuble riche (high-end furniture repository), featuring Louis XV and Louis XVI style furniture and drapery designs for palaces, castles and palatial estates;
Le Garde-meuble simple (everyday furniture repository), featuring less labor-intensive furnishings.

Album or notebook format series:
These publications were aimed at specific trades within the Paris furniture industry. Surviving examples in the Cooper-Hewitt Library include:

Album du menuisier parisien (Parisian carpenter's album) (1845-55);
Album du sculpteur parisien (Parisian sculptor's album) (1847);
Le Decorateur parisien (the Parisian decorator) (1847);
Le Tapissier parisien (the Parisian tapestry maker)(1852);
Le tournear parisien (the Parisian wood turner) (1853);
Carnet de l'Ebéniste parisien (Parisian cabinetmaker's notebook) (1858);
Album pitturesque des jardins (illustrated garden notebook) (1859);
Album Gothique Recueil de meubles et de sièges (notebook of Gothic case and seating furniture) (1862);
Album du fabricant des billards (notebook on the making of billiard tables) (1864).(6)

Three illustrated albums reporting on the French national expositions of industry of 1844, 1849 and 1855:

Le Garde-meuble album de l'exposition de l'industrie de 1844 (Furniture repository album of the industry exhibition of 1844);
Le Garde-meuble album de l'exposition de l' industrie de 1848 (Furniture repository album of the industry exhibition of 1848) and
Le Garde-meuble de l'exposition universelle de 1855. (Furniture repository of the universal exposition of 1855) (7)

Le Petit Garde-meuble (abbreviated furniture repository), published in an album format in 1840, 1869 and 1886; the selected plates were reprinted from issues of Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne.

Specialized publications:

Les maîtres ornemanistes (masters of ornament) (1880-1881), an important study of historical ornament and design, consisting of a collection of French, Italian, German and Dutch engravings aimed at painters, architects, sculptors and engravers;
La connaissance des styles de l'ornementation (compendium of ornament style), a history of style used in the fine arts that could be applied to current objects (1847);
Les tapisseries décorative du Garde-meuble, (decorative tapestry patterns in the furniture repository), published in ten parts between 1878 and 1881. The text is by Alfred Darcel;
La Décoration aux XIX siècle (decoration in the nineteenth century), containing 48 plates of interior designs executed by the principal decorative artists of Paris.

Digital Edition