Guéridon Haut, 1941
Like many of the “all wood” models developed during the War, the tall pedestal table was initially designed with a metal base.1 For the furnishing of the Solvay Hospital at Dombasle in 1941, the Ateliers Jean Prouvé proposed two kinds of tall wood pedestal tables, of which only the three-leg model went into production. The principle for the base was the same as for the dining table designed at the same time: triangular wooden legs set obliquely and connected by a three-branch steel rod stretcher. Mounting was effected with metal stirrups screwed to the wood. The model was improved for the small series made by Vauconsant: the camber of the legs was accentuated, their profile was slightly reduced to provide a better fit for the stirrups, and they were fitted with metal angle brackets attached to the underside of the top. Jean Prouvé’s constant concern with standardization and cost-cutting was evident in the GH 11 version of 1947, which had solid oak tops identical to those on the gueridon GB 11, in two sizes (Ø 80 and 95 cm). The wooden legs were like those of the S.A.M. tables and many of the metal components were common to both types. The evolution of the models was parallel: solid wood was replaced by plated wood and, in 1948, the stirrup and screw mountings for the legs were replaced by a threaded rod and washer system. In addition, a bent steel bracket under the top allowed the legs to be slotted in and held by threaded rod, and thus rendered more rigid. For the models with tops of 80 and 95 cm diameter, the Y-shaped brace was identical. However, the brace on the wider (Ø 120 cm) model introduced the following year was larger, as was the three-branched bent steel bracket screwed to the underside of the top. Late in 1951, the S.A.M. tables and tall pedestal tables underwent further standardization, with a view to optimal harmonization of their common components principally the legs, wood or metal. Henceforth the three-legged pedestal table existed in two versions, with a wood (no. 400 and no. 401) or more rarely, metal base2 (no. 405 and no. 406). All of these models are equipped with tops measuring 95 or 120 cm in diameter. The legs were fixed directly to the top with angle brackets. These tops were generally made of laminated oak plywood, or covered with laminated plastic for certain special models.3
1. This furniture was designed for the restroom in the French pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in New York in 1939.
2. The three metal-legged pedestal table no. 405-406 seems not to have been fabricated in series, as the all-wood version corresponded to the domestic market and the four metal-legged version for group commissions.
3. One example was the special model with a thick top for Charlotte Perriand’s 1952 display apartment in a group of apartment blocks at Boulogne-sur-Seine (architects B. H. Zehrfuss and J. Sebag).