French 19th Century Napoleon III Ebonized Breakfront Bibliothèque
Dimensions: 111-1/4″H (9’3/4″) x 86-1/4″W x 25″D
This rare, impressive, and eclectic carved Napoleon III ebonized breakfront-bibliothèque is from Paris, France, c. 1860’s. It features locks by Huby Fils, Paris, a sure sign of quality craftsmanship. Having an upper case with broken pediment and panel-carved and stepped frieze above a pair of glazed doors, through which can be seen four adjustable shelves, flanked by four boldly carved-and-turned columns with Corinthian capitals, between each pair are three open fixed shelves. The lower case features a bank of three hidden drawers within its carved and stepped frieze through which the upper columns are extended, over a pair of central doors that open to reveal a large storage space with a single adjustable shelf, flanked by a pair of smaller cabinet doors for additional storage which are each outfitted to hold one or more adjustable shelves, as the original shelves are lacking. The original gilt-brass escutcheons are beautifully crafted in the Second Empire style and have two keys. The lock plates bear the incised mark: “Huby Fils/Serrurier/Paris.” Note: The eclectic Napoleon III style, also referred as Second Empire, combines the tradition of the past with the new manufacturing processes of the Industrial Revolution and the development of modernism. French writer, Auguste Luchet (1806-1872), refers to Huby in his account of the 1867 World Fair the “young prince of locksmiths” and his Renaissance-style and Napoleon III creations were famous. Reference: LUCHET, Auguste, “L’Art Industriel à L’Exposition Universelle de 1867,” A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie Editeurs, Paris, 1868, p.249.