This pedestal table attributed to Pierre Gouthière is related to a small group of similar guéridons in gilt and patinated bronze on griffin tripod bases. One is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris, acquired from the dealer Seligmann as by Thomire, and another was formerly in the collection of Boniface de Castellane and Anna Gould in the Palais Rose, Paris, sold Christie’s Paris, 7 March 2017, lot 116. A further example from the Helena Rubinstein and John Dorrance collections is now with Dalva Brothers, New York. A related but more elaborate model with the legs headed by winged female caryatids as on the present lot formed part of the celebrated interior of Pierre Delbée of Maison Jansen in Paris, sold Christie’s New York 28 April 2017, lot 21.
Represented in the book; Le Meuble Leger in France, published by Michel Hartmann in 1952, page 242
Pierre Gouthière (1732 - 1813)
Little is known about the beginnings and training of Pierre Gouthière. Thanks to the research of J. Robiquet (Life and work of Pierre Gouthière, 1920), we know that he was the son of a saddler from Bar-sur-Aube.
Gouthière's reputation as a chaser and as a gilder (he was the inventor of matt gilding “Or moulu” which gave bronze the appearance of gold) was very quickly asserted. Thanks to the protection of the Duke of Aumont, he obtained permission to work for the King's Menus Plaisirs; in particular, in 1770, to the famous jewelry box offered to the Dauphine for her wedding. This first large order indicates Gouthière's own activity: he interprets in metal, by casting, chiselling and gilding, models designed by architects (Bélanger, Ledoux) or modeled by sculptors (Houdon, Boizot). The skill of the chaser requires precision in carving and high quality in gilding. Gouthière perfectly mastered these different techniques, which explains the many orders he received from the administration of the King's Buildings (fireplace in the Madame du Barry pavilion in Fontainebleau, currently in Versailles) or from great figures (Duke of Aumont, Duchess of Mazarin, Mme du Barry for Louveciennes). He also worked in collaboration with cabinet makers like Riesener or Martin Carlin.
All the quality works of the Louis XVI period have been attributed to Gouthière. Some of his works, the Avignon clock (Wallace Collection) or the fires (andirons) with deer and wild boar from Louveciennes (Louvre), some mounted vases from the collection of the Duke of Aumont (Louvre) show the originality of the Gouthière style: naturalism of flowers and garlands, extreme precision but devoid of the dryness of the carving, quality of the gilding.