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The renowned company of Beurdeley was one of the most prestigious furniture makers of the 19th Century. The business was founded in 1818 by Jean Beurdeley (1772-1853), who established the firm’s first workshop in Paris. After Jean’s death, his son Louis-Auguste-Alfred (1808-1882) took over the business, channelling his energies into producing furniture inspired by the Louis XVI and Louis XVIII styles. Louis-Auguste-Alfred quickly established himself as one of the most skilled cabinet makers (ébenistes) of the 19th Century, receiving medals at both the 1855 and the 1867 Expositions Universelles in Paris. This success won Louis-Auguste-Albert a host of extremely important clients, including the French Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugénie.
In 1875, Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley (1847-1919) took over the family business from his father. Under Alfred-Emmanuel’s leadership, Beurdeley continued to produce luxury furniture of the highest quality. The young Alfred-Emmanuel soon secured himself a reputation as one of the most talented French cabinet makers in Europe, being particularly noted for the refinement of his ormolu. Alfred-Emmanuel exhibited wares at all the major international exhibitions of the late 19th Century, winning a Gold Medal at the Parisian Exposition Universelle of 1889.
Although primarily remembered for his furniture manufacture, Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley was also a prestigious art collector and highly skilled bronze sculptor. After closing his shop in 1895, Alfred-Emmanuel Beurdeley devoted the remainder of his life to acquiring a vast collection of furniture and artworks. On his death, Beurdeley bequeathed 25,000 francs to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.