This is occupied exclusively by Parisian industry, and especially by stationery, fine cabinet making, leather goods, kits, etc. The famous Maquet stationer's shop, in the Rue de la Paix, is at the entrance on the right. It exhibits, among other things, blotters of great beauty and elegance. The one on the left hand, decorated with a gilded and engraved day plate and a medallion with paintings on porcelain in the middle, is worth 250 fr.: another in carved oak, decorated in the middle with a bear, and in the corners, with silver dogs, is worth 300 fr. Among the stationery below is a very fine inkstand, also in carved wood. Mr. Henri has boxes and chests decorated with polished and damascened steel, including a very fine one in the middle.
Mr. Gènes exhibits wallets, cigar holders, cones, etc., made of wooden plates, or varnished leather with Scottish checkerboard.
His neighbour, Mr. Garnier, displays cigar holders, boxes, etc., in gilt bronze, and two pretty vases with a blue background decorated with gilt bronze.
A large carved wooden cupboard, by M. Viardot, is placed in the middle. The little children at the top, who lean over the edge to take a bird's nest, are charmingly graceful and light. The shelves with flowers at the sides are also very well done.
Theret has exhibited relief mosaics on clocks, boxes, etc., and a piece of malachite used in these mosaics.
The luxury basketry of Mr. Camaret will stop the cracks, who will admire, among other things, the magnificent basket of silver wire, decorated with gilding and gems.
The bronzes and stationery of Mr. Asse follow; in the middle, the equestrian statue of Napoleon I, after Marochetti, and, at the sides, very beautiful Arabian horses in bronze.
Messrs George and Co. show some rather curious objects. You see a painting in front of you, the exhibitor opens it, and you are surprised to see it changed into a shelf filled with glasses, bottles, tea sets, etc. Boxes change, by a small mechanism, into cigar holders with smoker's accessories. You open a bottle box, and the bottles come out by themselves.
Mr. Massé-Boulanger, his neighbour, has a liquor cellar, which contains, in addition to the objects for which it is named, playing cards and marks, tobacco, pipes, cigars, and even matches.
Becker and Otto have very nice liquor and scent cellars, some of them made of island wood.
The one in the middle, in the shape of a globe, is their invention and guaranteed by the imperial commission against counterfeiting (this guarantee replaces the patent for the time of the exhibition).
Mr. Stegmuller has work baskets (cabas), and Mr. Delcourt has golden jewellery and beautiful boxes of very good taste.
We pass a door and arrive at the boxes for fine perfumery, of which the one in the middle deserves the visitor's attention. The Jelly brothers show their sheathing (boxes for jewellery, knives, etc.), which is unalterable to air, sun and gas, enamel and porcelain for display.
Amongst Mr. Audot's cabinet-making and marquetry objects, in the next window, we see, at the top, a beautiful mosaic table top. The flowers in the middle, the blue birds and the surrounding garland are very well executed, as are the travel kits, etc. His marquetry won him the prize medal in London.
The travel kits of Messrs Midocq and Gaillard are very elegant and rich, especially the middle one.
Kapp and Staudinger have, among other objects, kits, boxes, liquor cabinets, etc., decorated with porcelain inlays of a very nice effect.
Mr. Huet's sheathing factory exhibits its products next door. M. Huet comes with his purses, pouches and gibecières of impeccable workmanship.
M. Muller, gilder on leather and fabrics, shows wallets and purses with gilding on leather.
Mr. Tahan's special casket factory has, among others, a very beautiful gilded casket, decorated with steel bards of a very nice effect and surmounted by a medallion, with the portrait of the Emperor and the Empress held by two standing angels. Below, there are three other medallions with Napoleon I, Josephine and Marie-Louise. On another case, at the top, we see the main façade of the Palais de l'Industrie.
Mr. Fenoux shows us, among his portfolios, the reproduction of the letter-holder portfolio in red skin, surmounted by an eagle of Napoleon I.
Mr. Maréchal, who has a special factory for liquor cellars and oil holders (for oil and vinegar), exhibits his products.
A new lock system for wallet holders is exhibited next door by Mr. Classex. It consists in embracing the top of the wallet in its entire length, instead of only in the middle by a small lock.
The Tahan boxes, made of rosewood, etc., of which we have seen the principal objects in the nave, are followed by the exhibition of Mr. Aucor, who makes silver and silverware for necessaries and exhibits beautiful samples; one will notice especially the luncheon, a set, and, on the left, a washbasin in front of a gilded mirror.
Messrs Félix and Sormani, who follow, have beautiful kits and liquor cellars.
After passing through a door, we find Mr. Schlose's products, i.e. steel rings and frames (closures) for wallets, arranged in such a way as to form a large door with two side doors. In the showcase of Mr. Henry, a painter and steel jeweller, there are objects decorated with metal damascene by a process based on electricity, acids and other substances. Parts of a woman's hat, in front of the visitor, made of molten steel, are very well made, and together weigh only 'Mi grammes (price: 70 francs). Below is a blotter with the portrait of the Emperor damascened or engraved, again according to the exhibitor's process, priced at 275 francs. Mr. Laurent and Mr. Leruth have travel kits of a beautiful manufacture, which earned them a prize medal in London.
Of particular note is a beautiful rosewood case with tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and ebony inlays, and another on the left in ebony with mother-of-pearl and gilt copper inlays, as well as the one on the right in lemon wood.
Opposite and in the middle of the square, we see Mr. Guerret's carved wooden objects, spread out on three tables, pretty little mirrors, boxes, shelves with flowers, etc. The little bird eating a hare on the box on the right is charming; the wings are of perfect lightness and finish. At the bottom of the same box is a fox watching for partridges. A large wedding basket, at the right end, is distinguished by its perfect execution and elegance of style; it is surmounted by two birds pecking each other.
The right side of this middle square is occupied by a pretty rosewood desk (old style) trimmed with gilt bronze, and a table decorated with marble and bronze, by M. Dupont.
On the right hand side, a very nice marble and gilded bronze mantelpiece. These two candelabras are placed on pedestals; the clock is supported by two standing figures, representing Music and Architecture.
On the third side of the middle square, Messrs Goebel and Martin have displayed various small pieces of furniture and boxes. The large box in the middle, made of ebony wood, has gilt bronze fittings, which are not quite worthy of such an elegant box, the price of which is 2,500 francs. The small box on the front and right is decorated with oil paintings on silk fixed on glass, priced at 650 francs; another next to it in ebony wood is decorated with pretty little statuettes in the niches of the corners. The desk on the left, decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays, is worth 310 francs.
The fourth side of the small square is occupied by work baskets, vases for flowers, inlaid kits, etc. An open-air liquor cellar, on a rosewood toilet, will attract attention, as will the small work tables, also in rosewood, decorated with paintings on porcelain.
Messrs Schglose Brothers, whose display case we examined opposite, have exhibited here a travelling bag which conceals a whole small shop, for it contains a folding game table, a complete kit, a coffee pot, a sideboard and a compartment for clothes.
The middle of the third square is constantly besieged by crowds, although there are no masterpieces of industry or rare objects. This is the children's toy exhibition, which amuses young and old alike, for here we see a monkey playing the guitar, the rabbit beating a drum, dolls dancing by themselves, and the goat bleating and doing in public what the man and the chal do as clandestinely as possible. On the right side there are clocks decorated with flowers and imitation birds. Birds flutter from one branch to another, another drinks water that flows at its feet; all mechanical. The rest is filled with dolls, mannequins, cradles for dolls, etc.
The third small square to the side brings us back to the small luxury furniture, and we have in the front a beautiful collection by M. Giroux, the same man who exhibited the splendid aviary we saw in the nave. A smaller and less splendid aviary, although very pretty, adorns the middle of this exhibition, in which one will still notice, on the right hand side, a superb screen with a painting, painted by Gabé after Vatteau. But the capital piece is the chess set, in the middle on its ebony table, with compartments for the (chess) pieces; the figures of the game represent the Crusaders on one side, and the Saracens on the other, very finely executed; one sees on the shields of some of the Crusaders the Russian eagle. This anachronism is due to the circumstance that the game and its table were ordered by a Russian lady, who naturally wished to have the arms of her country on a luxury game, which costs no less than 12,000 fr.
On the right there is a very pretty jewel-case, Henri III style, decorated with fine stones, among which lapis lazuli, malachite and a beautiful garnet at the bottom.
It contains magnificent seals, one, among others, representing Joan of Arc, chased in silver, of very fine workmanship and costing 260 francs; a postillon, 400 francs, etc.
The right side contains a marble mosaic table and a beautiful inlaid desk by M. Sormani, and a very elegant wedding basket or shawl box. On a rosewood table, decorated with gilt bronze, by M. Peret, M. Audot has exhibited, on the third side, the same wooden mosaic table that we saw in his showcase, and which is worth 1,500 fr. The middle of the fourth side is occupied by a superb rosewood and rosewood shawl box, inlaid inside and out, on a table also of rosewood and rosewood, worth 6,000 fr. The desk of the same wood, on the right, decorated with paintings on porcelain, is worth 1,800 fr.; and the pretty little work table, at the back, also decorated with paintings on porcelain, 500 fr.; all these objects are exhibited by Mr. Gradé.
©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855