d. 1772; KBEN4STE PRIVILSGit DU ROI c. 1749
othing is known of Baumhauer’s youth apart from the fact that he came from Germany and settled in Paris at an unknown date before 1745. the date of his marriage to Reine Chicot, daughter and sister of menuisiers. In 1747 the couple had a son. Gaspard-Joseph. who succeeded his father on the latter’s death. Joseph Baumhauer was never a master ebeniste but became instead ‘marchand-ebe – niste privilegie du roi’ in about 1749. As his surname was unpronounceable by his contemporaries he used his Christian name and stamped with it as well. He had a prosperous workshop in the rue du Faubourg* Saint-Antoine at the sign of ‘La Boule Blanche’ with eight work-benches at the time of his death in 1772.
The inventory taken after his death by the ebenistes Carlin and Dufour lists very few pieces – fifteen in all – all in the process of construction, which would indicate. considering the size of the business, that he worked on commission or mainly for dealers who bought his furniture as soon as it was finished. Four bureaux plats are described; the one with the highest valuation (960 livres). with a cartonnier. is described as contourne’ (in the Louis XV style), while another bureau *6 pieds in length veneered in ebony, with fluted tapering legs… priced at 8(X) livres’ corresponds to a type of Neo-classical bureau by Joseph of which at least three examples are recorded (246). The remaining stock comprised three armoires. five commodes a la Rcgence’ (that is on tall legs), a veneered console table, a small table with square tapering legs and two secretaires en armoire. The
1232J Secretaire a abattant, to the lusuvre there is an identical
one of a pair attributed to Joseph. secretaire stamped by Joseph,
с. 1765-70, in bois saline and IPrivate collection)
amaranth. In the Grog Bequest stock was valued altogether at nearly 4.000 livres. The absence of cash or credit notes is recorded ami particularly the fact that Joseph did not keep an account – book. All this indicates that Joseph did not have access to a private clientele but sold the greater part of his furniture through the marchands-merciers. His output consisted solely of sumptuous furniture embellished with costly materials – Sevres porcelain plaques, pietra-dura. panels of Japanese or Chinese lacquer with richly ornamented gilt-bronze mounts – materials that only the marchands-merciers could have supplied to him.