The Tahan Manufactory, a famous furniture manufacturer in the 19th century, reached its apogee as a supplier of Napoleon III under the Second Empire. Specializing in small boxes at the turn of the century, Tahan developed a wide range of small and medium-sized furniture, adapted to middle class interiors, becoming "the prince of small cabinetmaking".
The great refinement of the precious wood veneers and gilt bronze magnify the ornamental furniture pieces such as bonheurs-du-jour, sewing tables, chests and desks. Anxious to remain at the forefront of progress in decorative arts, Tahan purchases porcelain inlays by Julien-Nicolas Rivart, and shares a stand with him at the Universal Exhibition of 1855.
Napoleon III hence offered Princess Marie-Clotilde a bonheur-du-jour, signed by Tahan, and the royal couple of England brought into the collections a magnificent coffer, laminated with lapis. One of the most striking houses of the nineteenth century, Tahan had the reputation of being "ahead of fashion and setting the tone".
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