A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze and Pietre Dure Mounted Ebonised Writing Table, Retailed by Edwards & Roberts.
The drawer edge stamped 'Edwards & Roberts'.
French, Circa 1870.
This fine ebonised writing table has a three-quarter galleried superstructure with cavetto moulding above three cupboards, each with a panel door inset with fine pietre dure panels of vases issuing flowers. The lower part of the table has a pull out writing slide with a dark blue leather writing surface, above a long drawer centred by a tablet mounted with a foliate pietre dure panel. The table is raised on tapering square section legs united by an 'x'-frame stretcher centred by a gilt-bronze vase.
The beautiful Florentine pietre dure panels are inlaid in high relief with shaded agates marble, and semi-precious stones. The combination of fine gilt-bronze mounts on an ebonised ground enriched with fine pietre dure inlay indicates the work of one of the best Parisian ébénistes of the period.
Edwards & Roberts, was one of the principal London companies working in the nineteenth century in the taste of the late Eighteenth Century. They started business in 1845 and by 1854 were trading as 'Edwards & Roberts, 21 Wardour Street, Antique and Modern Cabinet Makers and Importers of Ancient Furniture'.
Wardour Street became an important furniture retailing area in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. Contemporary documents note '... a fine and complete library of the works of the old designers...' (i.e. Chippendale, Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton)...'is to be seen at Messrs. Edwards & Roberts'.
Edwards & Roberts ceased trading in 1899 having been at various addresses. The addresses provide an accurate guide to the date of various pieces as they are normally incorporated on the maker's label.
It appears that the firm not only retailed new furniture but also sold antique items, stamping their name on furniture that passed through their workshops.