If you were unable to visit the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris last week, you're in for a surprise when you visit Rau Antiques' booth at the Armory Antiques Show this week.
Recognized as the country's leading 18th and 19th century antiques and fine arts dealers (average inventory is more than 2,000 items), out of New Orleans no less, Rau Antiques has been quietly acquiring and selling museum-quality furniture and decorative arts since 1912 out of its sprawling 30,000 sq ft gallery. www.rauantiques.com
This Charles-Guillaume Diehl Center Table, crafted by one of the most important cabinetmakers of 19th-century France, is a magnificent masterpiece. From its classically-inspired table top and frieze of inlaid decoration of the highest order, are finely carved legs with the finest gilt bronze detailing in the world, from the intricately carved anthemion border and Corinthian column caps to the superb ornaments on the stretcher. Diehls incredible attention to detail extends even to the key that locks the drawer. It is artistry and execution of matchless quality.
A native of Steinbach, Germany, Charles-Guillaume Diehl came to Paris in 1840 and established a large atelier, where he employed no less than 600 craftsmen by 1870. Diehl participated in the Great Exhibition in 1851 and in all the major international exhibitions during the middle of the 19th century thereafter.
At the 1867 Universal Exposition, Diehl was awarded a silver medal, and the medal cabinet that he presented that year is one of the pieces of furniture most often cited and reproduced of the period. He exhibited it in 1873 at the Universal Exposition of Vienna and obtained a medal of progress.
Diehl became a naturalized French citizen in 1872. His pieces are housed in such prestigious museums as the Musee d'Orsay, Paris, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Muse´e de l'Ecole de Nancy, Nancy and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Diehl died circa 1885.