Universal Exhibition of Agricultural, Industrial and Fine Arts Products - Paris 1855

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

May 15, 1855 - November 15, 1855


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Surroundings

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Let's go back to the south door of the Palace again, to examine the Panorama's perimeter.

We see in the axis of the entrance to the main Palace some beautiful luxury furniture by Mr. Grohe, in Paris. These include an ebony medallion, a carved oak sideboard with silver-plated brass figures representing Commerce and Peace; two carved giltwood tripods, and a lovely flower box.

Following the perimeter, we admire on our right a magnificent carved oak gun rack, by Mr. J. Fossey; then an antique piece of furniture, of carved walnut, with ebony mouldings, of a very pure style, by Mr. G. Maynard; in the transverse aisle on our left are; on the right, an oak gun rack, supported by two chained dogs, also of oak; a library desk, of pear wood, by Guéret; further on, a Louis XV style cupboard, and a psyche, by Lendolph; a sideboard of ball, out of copper, enamel and silver composition, of Bellangé; on the left, superb pieces of furniture of Fourdinois, namely an ebony cupboard, a table with chessboard out of wooden of pink, and a desk style Louis XV.

On the pillar to the right of the A staircase, we find delightful small carved wooden toilet mirrors. The dressing room, to the right of the pillar, contains a huge carved oak fireplace by Rondillon. In front of the pillar to the right of this dressing room stands a very ingenious piece of cabinetwork by M. Gemy; it is a liquor cabinet placed on a pedestal table. By means of a very cleverly devised mechanism, this piece can be transformed into a rack for pipes and cigars, with a candy box, a game table, a set of castors, and finally the cellar can be lowered into the centre of the table and thus form a pedestal table. The price of this curious piece of furniture is 3,000 fr.

Let us now go up the transverse aisle on our right. There we see, on the right, an ebony bed and table by Mercier; on the left, an ebony bookcase with silver medallions, priced at 6,000 francs; a wooden sideboard, marquetry work with paintings by Fouque, by Messrs. Bigot et Cie; other furniture in marquetry by M. Rummel; finally, furniture by Boule, by M. Diehl, including a table-shelf, a cashmere box, a liquor cabinet and an ebony psyche with a double mirror.

On the right, we find an oak and ebony sideboard by Chaix, an armoire desk by Hoefer, and a large walnut bookcase by Klein. In the transverse aisle, on our left, we find, on the right, a mirror cabinet and a prie-dieu desk in ebony by Sicard in Lyon; further on, a pearwood buffet-shelf, with subjects representing the four parts of the world and the most famous men of all times, by Ribaillier, supplier to H. M. the Empress; and, on the right, a bookcase in oak and ebony by Hoefer. M. l'Impératrice; finally, a walnut sideboard by Roussel; on the left, a pretty ebony sideboard; and further on, marquetry furniture with porcelain inlay, by Rivart, including a magnificent pedestal table, priced at 3,000 fr.

The dressing room to the right of Mr. Rondillon's contains an enormous bookcase, a masterpiece of marquetry, with gilded copper ornaments, by the widow Allard et fils: the price of this piece is 20,000 fr.

Let us now go up the transverse aisle on our right: on the right we see a four-sided ministerial desk, in walnut, by M. Salomon, priced at
5,000 fr.; moreover, on the right and left, several pretty beds. Let us return to the perimeter: we notice taken from the wall, a china bookcase, by Weiber-Pitelti, and a china cabinet by Ribaillier. In the transverse aisle on the left is a walnut sideboard; on the right, papier-mâché furniture by Drageon and lacquer furniture by Mainfroy. The dressing room opposite this aisle contains splendid lacquer furniture by Osmont, including a 2,500 franc mirror cabinet.
The dressing room, to the right of the previous one, contains furniture by Boule, including a magnificent bed by Daguin and Philippe.

We now go up the transverse aisle on our right; we notice on the left, furniture in inlaid lacquer, among others a sideboard with mother-of-pearl inlays, worth 6,000 fr. by Messrs Ducroy, Rose and Co. Around the edge, on the wall side, stands the beautiful oak bookcase by Beaufils in Bordeaux; next to it, an ebony and marble sideboard, decorated with mosaic flowers. The top of the walls are decorated with wallpaper and Aubusson carpets. Opposite this pulpit is a collection of billiard tables by Bouhardet, including one made of ebony wood with gilded bronze ornaments, costing 10,000 francs. Next to the pulpit is the entrance to the gallery of industrial drawings. Among the drawings hanging on the walls or exhibited on tables, we notice, to the left of the entrance, the one of a tablecloth ordered by the Emperor's house; this piece will be 30 meters long and four wide. The other drawings relate to fabrics, goldsmiths, cabinetmakers and almost all branches of industry.

In addition to the drawings, there are a number of models of different constructions in the same room. To the right of the entrance are the models of a workers' housing estate, a new form of monumental construction, frameworks, and the relief plan of the port of Calais with mechanical movement, the work of fifteen years by Mr. A. Caron, an employee of the Calais customs. To the left of the entrance are, among others, a relief of Mont Blanc; the model of the Rome station for the Civita-Vecchia railway; several sheets of the magnificent map of France published by the Dépôt de la Guerre, etc.

If we return to the perimeter and continue our tour at the point where we interrupted it, we see on the left, near one of the entrances to the interior of the rotunda, a lodge filled with the furniture and beds of Mr. Osmont and Mr. Descartes. Among the latter, we admire a bed and a toilet of exquisite taste, covered with lace; in addition, sofa-beds and a so-called Siamese couch, with six seats. The space opposite this dressing room and up to the surrounding wall is filled with furniture and bedding from Paris, in the most varied forms. The dressing rooms, after the B staircase, house zinc and copper ornaments, household goods and tools, while the display cabinets that run the full width of the perimeter show the many products of the crystal works.

After passing the staircase leading to the large annex, we notice in the boxes on the left household goods, tools and knives. The middle space is occupied by several circular rows of display cases: those on the left contain cutlery, and those on the right a collection of the most splendid lamps; finally the middle display cases form a sort of square, where we admire the products of the Paris and Saint-Etienne armoury. We quote among others a rifle ordered by the Emperor, and another ordered by the viceroy of Egypt, in the showcase of Mr. Gastine-Renette, as well as the rich exhibition of Mr. Devisme, crowned by an immense eagle in 1st, whose wings are formed by blades and the lightning by bayonets.

To the right and outside the perimeter is a circular gallery, where we find the exhibits of the locksmith's trade and the tinsmith's trade.

Nearly opposite the D staircase begins the area of musical instruments by French makers. Flutes and drums lead the way, followed by brass wind instruments and violins. In the middle are the pianos, organs, harmoniums and melodiums: here we find all the famous makers, Erard, Pleyel, Debain, Pape, Alexandre, Darche, Marix, etc., and the sono-type or tuning-guide of M. Delsarte, a new and very ingenious invention to facilitate the tuning of pianos. On the right is the gigantic organ of M. Ducroquet, the author of the great organ of Saint-Eustache.

In front of this organ are placed several cast iron works, products of the great French factories. We shall especially mention the magnificent collection of statues, vases and other ornaments of M. Ducel, in Pocé, and of M. Barbeat, in Val d'Osne.

On our left, near the J staircase, there is a dressing room with a magnificent bed and a sideboard by Mr. Krieger, with salon furniture and flat decorations by Mr. Deville, and then, through the entrance opposite the main hall, we enter the Panorama. In the small vestibule that precedes, two very beautiful bookcases, Florentine style, by M. Barbedienne, of which the one on the left hand is made of solid and applied ebony wood, and decorated with bronze bas-reliefs after Michelangelo. This bookcase, which is worth 35,000 fr., won Mr Barbedienne the grand medal at the London Exhibition. The one opposite is in oak decorated with lapis and agate; there is a clock in the middle, with two figures in bronze, after those of Michelangelo which adorn the tomb of Medici in Florence. This piece of furniture is worth 22,000 fr.

©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855