Charles-Guillaume Diehl – It Does Not Get Much Better
Another stop on my Philadelphia Museum of Art visit, this Neo-Grec jewelry cabinet was considered a “masterpiece” at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. This cabinet is still a show-stopper today and was manufactured by Charles-Guillaume Diehl. The cabinet has a hidden release mechanism that opens the door and top. Construction includes dyed inlaid woods of Maple, Satinwood, Sycamore, and Ebony with gilded bronze mounts.
Diehl was born in Steinbach, Hesse, Germany in 1811 and set up business in Paris in 1840. By 1870 he had 600 employees. He participated in many of the European Exhibitions and Expositions, including in the years 1855, 1861, 1867, and 1873, winning medals in many cases. It should be mentioned that many of his best pieces were collaborations with designer Jean Brandely and sculptors Emmanuel Fremiet and Emile Guillemin.