Esteve Comella, owner of a luxurious glove shop in Carrer Avinyó in Barcelona, commissioned Gaudí to produce a glass display case to exhibit his products at the Paris World’s Fair, inaugurated in May 1878. The architect designed an original construction of wood, iron and glass crowned with metal plant forms inside which the gloves were exhibited on a shelved structure.
Gaudí’s showcase was received with great enthusiasm by visitors and the Comella stand was awarded the fair’s silver medal. Among the admirers of this small gem at the Paris fair was Catalan industrialist Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi. On returning to Barcelona he made arrangements to meet the showcase’s young creator. Introduced by Esteve Comella at Eudald Puntí’s cabinetmaker’s workshop, Gaudí and Güell soon became friends and so began a fruitful professional relationship.