Gabriel Viardot (1830-1906) was a famous Parisian cabinetmaker specializing in the production of “Chinese-Japanese genre” furniture in the last third of the 19th century. He started his career as a wood sculptor in 1849, when he sent some naturalistic décor furniture pieces to the horticultural exposition. He then became the head of a small team of sculptors when he was only 19 years old.
In 1853, he had a factory and a furniture store located at 36 and 38 Rambuteau road. At this time, Gabriel Viardot was working with his brother, Louis Gustave, under the name “Viardot Brothers and Co.” In 1860, he created his own workshop, “G. Viardot” at 5 Grand-Chantier road, and became head of the family business which he kept until 1872. He decided to devote himself to “Chinese-Japanese style furniture”, which he was able to see predominately at the World's Fair of 1867. At this same exposition, Viardot was awarded four medals. It’s with this production that he was awarded a silver medal at the World's Fair of 1878. Following that, he practiced consecutively at 15 Chaume road, 3 Archives road in 1878 and 36 Amelot road near the end of the century. His furniture was produced thanks to lacquered and carved panels sent directly from China or Japan and decorated with mother of pearl inlays from Tonkin. He enlivened his furniture with bronze decorations, of which he made all the designs by hand.
Over the course of the years, his success only continued to grow, particularly at the exhibitions of Nice and the 8th exhibition of the Central Union of Decorative Arts in 1884. In 1885, he participated in the World Exhibition of Antwerp where he obtained a gold medal. At this time, the shop employed 90 – 100 workers, sculptors or cabinetmakers, a lot of who were educated directly by Gabriel Viardot. Following this exhibition, Gabriel Viardot was promoted to the rank of Knight in the Legion of Honor (December 29 1885). In 1889, he was at the World Exhibition that took place in Paris and awarded a gold medal. He obtained the same award at the World's Fair of 1900.