BOULLE’S ASSISTANTS AND THE EXTENSION. OF HIS WORKSHOP

The names of Boulle’s colleagues are known from the records of legal proceedings against him by his work­force. whom he paid very infrequently. Besides his four sons, he was assisted by one of his cousins. Pierre Boulle. who declared in 1710 that he had worked for him for thirty-five years and petitioned the Due d’An – tin to order his arrest for the payment of 1.700 livres owed to him, which sum would enable him to obtain his mastership. The proceedings against him by the innkeeper Breguet in 1684 include the names of three of his employees. Girard. Cieppe and Gaspard. In the following year he was forced to update the wages of fifteen of his workforce of which many were ‘journey­men gilders, ebenistes and menuisiers’: Jacques La Neuville. Jean Saint-Yves. Antoine Aztigues (or Oztigues). Maurice Degrea, Ulrich Cemelmer, Leo Rhindorffe, Simon Chotepot. Adam de Vaux. Michel Chastclier, Joseph Luticr. Leo Vcnneman, Zacharie Strague (orStrack). Dominique Poulain. Jean Mangin and Denis Desforges (who was apprenticed in 1660 to Gole). Another colleague between 1674 and 1676 was also his brother-in-law Philippe Poitou. A widower in 1677. the latter contracted a second marriage to the daughter of the ebeniste Sommer and left to work in his workshop. Finally, the recently discovered con­tract of apprenticeship of Jean-Pierre Mariette reveals that he worked as a caster in Boulle’s workshop be­tween 1725 and 1731. The workshop, which com­prised a workforce of at least fifteen in 1685, continued to expand, rising by 1720 to nearly thirty workers. There were at that time twenty work­benches for ebenistes as well as equipment for six workers in bronze, a foundry and a printing press. It would seem that the workshop went into a period of noticeable decline after the fire in 1720. On Boulle’s death in 1732 only seven work-benches arc men­tioned. The probate inventory was taken in the first workshop in the rue des Orties. This took up only the ground and first floors and there was no mention of

BOULLE'S ASSISTANTS AND THE EXTENSION. OF HIS WORKSHOP

further amenities. The stocks of wood had also declined considerably. Probably the other work­benches and the rest of the tools had been divided be­tween Boulle’s sons before his death and were installed in other areas of the workshop.