In his guide to Paris of 1706. Germain Brice writes of the pietra-dura workshop at the Gobelins: ‘In the great courtyard close to the silversmiths’ workshops are to be found the workshops formerly run by Branchier and Ferdinand de Meliori who were brought from Italy to work on marquetry which demands much time and expense.’ The accounts of the Batiments du Roi from 1668 give an accurate record of the names of the stone-cutters who worked there under Cucci’s direction. These included the Florentines Orazio and Ferdinando (died 1683) Megliorini, Filipo Branchi (died 1699) and Gian Ambrogio Giachetti (whose name disappears from the accounts in 1675), as well as the Frenchman Letellier. They produced pictures in fiat mosaics of flowers and birds (as can be seen on the tables in the Musee d’Histoire Naturelle, in the Gal – erie d’Apollon at the Louvre and in the Museum of Tours) as well as small panels of fruit and flowers in relief.
It would seem that Ferdinando Megliorini specialized in both these techniques. Mention is made in the inventory after his death in 1683 of’one hundred and thirty-one pieces of cornelian cut in the shape of cherries and grapes’, as well as a ‘duck entering the water and a duck emerging from the water’. Giachetti. who was one of Autelli’s assistants in 1663 in the production of the famous octagonal table in Florence, was expert in the manufacture of flat mosaics. The presence of his signature on the back of one of the small plaques in relief on a piece in the Royal Palace at Stockholm proves that he also worked in the second technique. Branchi obviously specialized in the technique of flat mosaic work, as a number of such tables were supplied by his workshop in 1691, 1693 and 1694, while he was the only surviving Italian stonecutter still active.
For the carved wood stands of these tables and cabinets. Gucci turned to Philippe Caffieri (1633-1716), a fellow Italian and the principal wood-carver employed at the Gobelins. It is recorded in 1668 that they both worked with the menuisier Prou on ‘a large cabinet of 9 pieds in height by between 11 and 12 pieds in width and 4 pieds in depth… to be used to arrange and store all His Majesty’s works in filigree’. Another Italian sculpteur. Jean-Baptiste Tuby, was employed by the Batiments together with Caffieri. In 1672 he was paid, together with Gucci. Caffieri and Anguier. ‘for the model they made of the Parterre d’Eau’ at Versailles. Towards the end of his life it is probable that Cucci employed Rene Ghauveau (1663-1722) and Sebastien Slodtz (1655-1726) who married his daughters Catherine and Madeleine (the first in 1690, the second in 1696). Finally, the gilding of the carved details was executed by Paul Goujon, called La Barronniere.
It is difficult to evaluate the role played by Gucci himself in the production of the large cabinets that made him famous. The conception of these cabinets came from Lebrun, director of the manufactory at the Gobelins and the driving force of French artistic life of the period. From his pupil Claude Nivelon, we know that Lebrun provided ‘the drawings of these magnificent historic cabinets to be found in the palaces of the Tuilieries and Versailles’ (Vie de Charles Lebrun). This supervision by Lebrun of the Royal Manufactory explains the unity of decorative elements to be found running through all their productions. There are striking similarities between furniture in silver and examples in carved and gilded wood, between silver and gilt-bronze models, between the statues embellishing the gardens, the stuccoes at Versailles and the caryatids decorating the bases of the cabinets, or again be-
EXCERPT PROM T1IE ACCOUNTS OF ПІК BATIMENTS DU ROI CONCERNING PAYMENTS MADE TO CUCCI
I May і664: to Sr Domenico de Сносу. Italian cbeniste. in part payment lor work carried out on the two large cabinets of Apollo anti Diana b. OOOL 10 July 1665: to Domenico Cuccy. tfbeniste, in part payment for two Luge cabinets which represent the Temple of Glory and the Temple of Virtue for the Galerie d’Apollon at the Chateau du Louvre 16,0001.
The year 1666: collect the sum of 5.000L for part payment to Domenico Cuccy, ebemstc. for the two large cabinets which represent the Temple of Glory and the Temple of Virtue to be placed in the Gallcne d’Apollon 3 Nmember 1666 – 9 May 1667: to Domenico Cuccy in part payment for liars, bolts and other works in bronze made by him for the doors and windows of the Tuileries. 1.200L 24 August 1667: to Domenico Cucci. cbeniste. in part payment for the two cabinets which he is
making, one representing the Temple of Glory and the other that of Virtue S.000L 9 January 1667: collect 5.000L for part payment to Domenico Cuccy, сЫ-nisle. for two large cabinets representing the Temple of Glory ami that of Virtue. Receipt made for payment of 4,5001. in addition to 26.000L which he received earlier, making 30.50QL for the complete payment for the two large cabinets representing the Temple of Glory and that of Virtue
December 1667: collect 5.000L for part payment to D. Cuccy. «Jbcniste. on the two large cabinets made by him for the King.
і May 1667-21 May 1668: to D. Cussi. part payment on the bronze fittings made by him for the doors and windows of the Tuileries. 17.300L 18 June 1667: to D. Cucci in part payment for two large cabinets in ebony enriched with silverwork ornaments, representing the Temple of Glory and that of Virtue. 14.5001.
To Gussy 3501. for various works which he has executed for the King
3 December 1668: to Domenico Cuccy in part payment for the works in bronze made by him for the fastenings of doors and windows of the Palais des Tuileries. 1,8001.
17 December: to him for the cleaning and fastening of all door and window locks of the Palais des Tuileries. 100L
14 March – 19 September 1668: to Cuccy. dblnistc. in part payment on the bronze fittings made by him for the door and casement locks of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre and Palais des Tuileries. 5.500L 28 February 1669: collect for part payment to Cuccy. $>£niste. on the large cabinets which he is making for the King. 5,000L 8 October 1669: to D Cuccy for the metal fittings made by him for machine in the form of a large armoire for storing |>art of the collection of agates and crystals and other curiosities at the Palais des Tuileries 1.400L 25 February 1669: to I) C.. bronze caster, final payment on 36.271L for his bronze work for the fittings of the doors and casements of the Tuileries between the sears 1667 and 1668 2.4711.
19 March 1669- 1 January 1670: to D. Cucci in part payment for parquetry and metalwork for the fittings of the doors and windows of the Petit Appartement of the King (at Saint-Germain).
2 November 1669: to D Cucci. caster, in part payment for the commissions which he is carrying out in His Majesty’s service at the chateau (Saint – Germain). 2,4001.
19 March 1669: to D. ( люсі in part payment for two cabinets which he is making for the King 5.000L
Year 1670: collect 5,0001. for payment to Cucci. cbeniste. for two large cabinets which he is making for the King’s use
18 November 1670 – 15January – 167 1: to Cucci in part payment for bronze fittings mack – l>y him for the casements of the Grande Galerie at the Louvre. 800L
17 June 1670 – 4 January 1671: to Cuccy. A6niste and caster, for bronze fittings which he is making for the doors and casements at Versailles 3.200L 1 March – 25 May 1670: to D Cucci. caster, final payment on
18.071L for the bronze fittings made by him for the King’s Appartemcnts at the said place (Saint-Germain). 5.57IL 5 Apnl: to him for his fee for gilt – brass work in the King’s Petit Appartement 1141.
January 1671: to I). Cucci, caster and £b<5nite, for a clock-face which he provided for the Gobelins and the journeys he made to Saint-Germain to repair sundry breakages in the King’s Petit Appartement 911.
1 December: to him part payment for the two large cabinets made by him for the King. 5,0001. March 1671 – 3 January 1672: to (axxi in part payment for the bronze handles and fastenings which he is making for the doors and casements of the Chateau de Versailles 8.100L
13 October 1672- 11 April 1673: to Cucci for repairs to the bronzes in the King’s cabinet 1061.
14 April 1672: to Anguier. Tuby. Cuccy and Caffieri. for the model made by them for the Parterre d’Eau. 550L
February 1672 – 9 March 1673: to Cucci in part payment for the bronze fittings for the doors and windows of the Grand Appartement (at Versailles) 13,1001.
N member 1673: collect for final instalment of6.568L to D. C on complete payment of 27.5681. for two large cabinets in ebony which he has made for H M. with sundry decorations in bronze and lapis 1673: to Cuccy for the bronze fittings which he is making for the King’s library (or bookcase?) at the I^xivre. 600L 18 November 1673: to Cuccy for bronze fittings matkr by him 3131.
20 May -18 November: to Cucci for bronze fittings supplied by him (Versailles) 5.4001.
I September 1673: to Сліссі for the rocailles which he has supplied to Versailles. 225L 29 Ntn-ember 1673: to Cucci for final payment of 27.568L for two large cabinets in ebony enriched with various mounts 6.568L
II February – 5 October 1674: to D. Cucci. final payment on 5.2711. for the bronze*fittings for the doors and casements for the room designated for the King’s pictures (Louvre)
I ft I Del a,1 of a gouache depicting an imaginary непе with Mme de Montespan, c. 1670. combining aspects of the Appartement des Hams at Versailles as well as of the Trianon de Porcelaine. The cabinet, decorated with lapis and ebony inset with gouaches of the legend of Apollo and surmounted by the solar chariot, evokes the cabinets of Apollo and Diana supplied in 1664 by Cucci to
Iujuis XIV. but with significant discrepancies from the description in the inventory. ISotheby’s London, 6 July I9ft7, lot SI I
to ( ЛІССІ for gilt-bronze garnitures. 45-11.
20 January 1674 – 23 February 1675: to ( лісе і in part (Kiyment for bronze fittings for the doors and windows of the Appartcments. 7.IOOL 7 February 1676: to (ліссі. caster.
for bronze fittings for the < ialene d’Apollon 1.S00L 20 March – 30 September 1675: to (ліссі, final payment on 42.5561. for the bronze fittings be has made. 6,056L 3July 1675: to him lor all the masks he has |>laccd on all the casements in the first-floor Appartement. 686/.
To (ліССІ for mercury gilding work carried out by him 329І. April 1676: to (ліссі. caster, final І му merit on 4,0041. tor the bronze* fittings which he*
tur nished for the (ialene <l.|v»llon at the Louvre. 2.5041. 1676 llxitimcnt du Vail: to (лко, caster 5121.
26 February 1676. Versailles: to ( ліссі, caster, for tin* balustrade which he is making lor the* grand staircase 500/.
2June – 13 November 16/6: to him for the bronze fittings which In – lias supplied 3.7551.
3 February – 6 September 1677: to (лихі, complete payment for the gilt-bronze fittings he is making for door ornaments in the
octagonal room in the ground* floor Appartement. and the Twelve Months. 4.7401.
29 December 1677 -16January 1678: to him for the gilt-bronze balustrade of the grand staircase. 2.7001.
3 July 1678: to Cocci for a cabinet made by him. 1.000L
12 June for le Val: to Саксі for fittings in bronze and brass. 358L 5 February – 24 December 1678: to Cucci in part payment for the gilt-bronze balustrade for the grand staircase. 16.000L
5 February – 29 March: to him. his final payment on 6.0121. for bronze fittings made by him for the Appartement dcs Bains. 2.712L
30 May. 1678: to him final payment on 2.324L for silver-gilt and gilt-bronze fittings for the great marble mirror in the Chambre des Bains. 1.1214L
15 May – 24 November: to him in part (xayment for his work. 9.500/.’
14 October: to him in part payment for gilt-bronze fittings for the casements in the Appartements. 6001.
8 January 1679: to him in part payment for gilding in the Appartement ties bains. 800L
15 January 1679: to him in part payment for an organ-case which he is making for the Chateau de Versailles. 1.000L
1679 (maison des Gobelins): to Blancheton, locksmith, for work carried out in the foundry of L). Саксі. 601.
3 September 1679: to Cucci. caster, for a number of bronze mouldings to contain the mirrors in the Queen’s Cabinet at the old chateau (Saint-Germain) 119L 29January – 16 July 1679: to I). Cucci. final payment on 31.2001. for the gilt-bronze balustrade for the grand staircase at Versailles. 7.400L
13 August – 17 September: to him for the gilt-bronze decorations on the pedestals and brackets for the grand staircase 1.500L
14 January 1680: to him on the bronze frames which he is making around the iron doors on the grand staircase. 1,5001.
26 February – 10 December 1680: to him in part payment for gilt – bronze mounts made by him 7.200L
26 February – 31 March: to him in part payment for a cabinet which he is making. 2,2001.
23 April: to him final payment on 1.8001. for the bronze ornaments which he has made for the four pedestals in the Chambre des bains 600L
25 June -19 November: to him for gilding door and casement fittings in the Appartement dcs bains. 1.000L
19 November: to him for the gilt – bronze ornaments which he is making for the two marble basins in the A|>partemcnt des bains. 4001.
28 May – 22 October: to him for the gilt-bronze fittings for the doors and casements of the Petit Appartement du Roi at the Petit Chateau. 4.200L
18 June: to him in put payment for an organ-case for the King. 1,2001.
I Apnl 1679: to I). Cucci. eWniste. in part payment for two large cabinets 1.000L 28 January – 21 April 1680: to I). Cucci. caster, part payment for the gilt-bronze frames which he Is making for the five doors for the grand staircase at Versailles. 5,200/.
19 May: to him for the works and gilt-bronze fittings which he is making for the doors and casements of the Appartements of the Chateau 20,5001.
14 May: to him for the organ – case in the King’s Antechamber. 1,0001.
4 August: to him in part payment for the bronze fittings of the doors of the Appartement of the King and Queen at the Chateau. 5.000L
I July 1681: to him in final payment on 55.902L for works in gilt-bronze made – at the Chateau in 1677. 1678. 1679 and 1680 6.911L
30 November 1681 – 11 January 1682: to Cucci. caster, for works for the seventeen casements of the gallery (at Versailles] I.600L
20 July – 10 August 1681 (Cabinet des Bains}: complete payment for the bronze ornaments made by him for the two basins in the said Cabinet. 1.810L
22 June I Versailles}: to Саксі. caster, for work carried out to enhance the paintings in the Petits Appartements of the King. 763L
To him for brass mounts on a large armoire at the Garde – Meuble 4331.
24 Auguit – 2 November: to him for other works. 2.000L
To him for gilt-bronze fittings which he has made for the shutters in front of the King’s finest paintings. 366L 20 July 1681: to Cucci for the cabinets which he is making for the King. 5001.
23 November 1681: to Cucci for refurbishing some bronzes (Saint-Germain). 1551.
27 April 1681 – 18 May }vanousf: to Cucci, caster, in part payment for a large cabinet made by him for the King. 3.000L 4 May: to him in final payment on 8.000L for an organ-case which he made for the King. 2,6001.
8 March – 22 November 1682: to Cucci for the gilt-brass rods whKh were made to hold the glass panes of the nine casements in the Grande Galerie (Versailles). 1,0101.
8 March: to Саксі in payment for the bronze fittings supplied by him for the doors and casements of the Grands and Petits Appartements at the Chateau dc Versailles in 1681 3.035L I September: to Cucci. payment for gilding the mouldings around the mirrors in the Cabinet of Madame la Princesse de Conti 7571.
19 September: to Саксі, caster, final payment on 10.341L for works in brass made by him on doors and casements in the Appartements at the Chateau (Versailles) 4.2411.
18 August: to Cucci. caster, for brass works for four picture frames at the chateau (Versailles) 318L To him for refurbishing bronze items on the doors and windows at the chateau (Versailles). 5381. 25 January – 31 May 1683: to Cucci for two cabinets which he is making for the King 3.000L
12 Apnl – 20 June: to him for the gilt rods around the panes of the casements in the Grands Appartements of the chateau. 2.600/.
22 August: to him for his gilt – brass works in the cabinets and mezzanines of Mgr le Dauphin in the great wing. 800L
13 February: collect I0.800L for payment to Dominique Саксу. $x4niste, making, together with the 5.200L which he has already received, complete payment on /6,000/. for two ebony cabinets enriched with numerous gilt – bronze mounts made by him for
the use ol I lis Majesty. /0,800/. 22 August – 17 October: to Саксі for the refurbishment of the woodwork and metal fittings of the casements and doors at the Chateau de Versailles. 4201.
To Саксі, tfbtfniste. for the pedestals and ebony plinths to support the bronzes in the ( Ы)met des C’Airiosit6s (Versailles). 279L 11 July 1683: to Cucci. caster, final payment on 8.558L for gilt – brass works in the Appartements of the King and the Queen, and other places at Versailles. 4,9581. 11 January – 31 October: to Cucci for the mouldings, gilt rods and other bronze fittings which he is making for the Appartements of the King and Monseigneur (at Clagny). 3.4001.
1 January: to him for the two large cabinets he is making for the King (at Clagny). 600L 19 December: to Cucci for fire-gilt works on the 14 casements of the Grand Appartement of the King. 3221.
21 February: to Саксі, ebt-mste, final payment on 16.000L for two ebony cabinets decorated with numerous gilt-bronze ornaments for the King 10.800L 27 February 1684: to Domenico Cuccy. caster, for his works on the two cabinets to be placed in the Grands and Petits Appartements of the King (Versailles). 518L
22 Apnl – 19 November: to him for gilt-brass works in the King’s Appartements at the Petit Chitcau 4.607L
16 July: to him. final payment on 11.764L. the total sum for his gilt-brass work for the Grande Galerie. C і rands and Petits Appartements of the King and Queen, and the Cabinet des Curiositft». as well as the Cabinet dcs Curiosit6s of Monseigneur and in other parts of the chateau in 1684 1,9641.
10 September 1684: to him for two cases in gilt-bronze with marquetry for the organ and harpsKhord in the King’s State Bedchamber, and other works (Versailles). 1,0001.
17 September – 5 November 1684: to him for brass works for the [Minted doors and casements of the gallery 1.400L
27 January 1686 – 2 February 1687: to Domenico Саксі, caster, in part payment for works he has
undertaken to do for His Majesty in the following year 18,0001.
21 January 1685: to Domenico Cocci, caster, in part payment for gilt-brass works which he has supplied and the gilding of fittings in the Appartements of the King in the Chateau of Versailles. 6001.
11 February – 1 July: to him for the large spring holts which he made for the casement in the Grande Caloric. 3.300L 25 February: to him for gilding which he carried out in the chateau. 1.000L
8 July – 9 December 1685: to him for work in lapis and tortoiseshell which he matle for the King’s Petite Calorie. 2.000L 11 November – 9 December: to him for the gilt-brass rods which he made to hold the mirrors in the cabinets for Monscigneur 2,0001.
21 April – 28 July 1686: to (люсу. caster, for the six lanterns made by him for the barge and the galley 5,2001.
25 August – 17 November: to him for the refurbishment and small repairs to the bronze fittings in all the Grands and Petits Appartements at the chateau. 1,1001.
25 August – 6 October: to him for the seven bronze nms which he made for the tallies from Italy [Versailles). 9001.
22 September – 22 October: to him for the gilt-bronze door fittings for the Antechamber of the King next to the Gallery (Versailles). 600L
24 March 1686 iSamt-Gcrmain): to I>omcnico Cucci. caster, for the gilt-bronze mouldings which he made around the mirrors in the Cabinet du Roi and that of Monscigneur. 3001.
Year 1687: collect the sum of 500L which should have been paid to D. Cucci. ^Wniste, in part payment for the two large marquetry organ-cases which he is making for His Majesty, which lie lias not received February – 7 December 1687: to Cucci, caster, in part payment for works in gilt bronze made by him for the Chateau [Versailles). 6.300L
April – 7 December: to him for sundry works in the Petite Galerie 10.500L 31 March – 21 December: to him for gilt-bronze works in the chateau in 1684 anil 1685 200L
25 May – 6 July 1687: to him for the gilt-bronze fittings and mouldings holding the mirrors in the Cabinet of Mme la Princesse de Conti [Versailles). 1.8001.
19 – 31 August, works in ebony: to Domenico Cucci. A^nistc. in part payment for two large organ-cases with marquetry which he is making for His Majesty 1,3001.
Year 1688: works in gilt-bronze:
11 January – 26 December: to Domenico Cucci. caster, in part payment for gilt-bronze works which he has supplied for the Chateau de Versailles since 1685. 2.3001.
22 February – 28 Not ember: to him. complete payment for the gilt-bronze work which he has made for the rims of the marble tables at the Trianon. 4.387L 16 May – 28 November: to him. complete payment for the gilt – bronze mouldings holding the mirrors in the Cabinet des Miroirs at Trianon. 2.315L 22 February -15 June: to him in part payment for works in imitation lapis and of bronze which he has earned out for the King’s Petite Calorie. 2.600L Year 1688: marquetry:
7 March: to the journeymen сЫ-nistes of Саксі for time spent dismantling the marquetry of the ceiling and floors of the cabinets of Monscigneur. 75L
12 December: to Cuccy for repairs which he had carried out to the bronze fittings in the Chateau de Versailles. 2551.
18 Apnl 11689J: to Domenico Саксі, tfbeniste. on account for the two large organ-cases in marquetry which he made for the King’s use 1600L
24 July – 9 October: to D. (ліесі. A^niste. in part payment for the gilt-bronze rims which he is making for the marble and alabaster tables at the Trianon. 400L
4 June 1690: to Domenico. eb£mste. final payment on 680L for eight polished bronze rims which he made for eight tables in Montahuto alabaster at Trianon. 2801.
19 August – 9 December: to D Cucci, caster, in part payment for works in bronze and other work which he carried out in the service of His Majesty in preceding years. 5001.
18 Ncnembcr 1691: to 1). Cucci. caster, for the small gilt-bronze borders which he made for the chimneypieces in the Appartements of the Surintcndance des Bfitiments at Versailles 541.
Year 1692: collect the sum of 21.332L to be delivered to Domenico Cucci. A^niste. in complete payment, together with 92,8181., for work and re|>airs to his work which lie carried out in the King s service from November 1683 until now. apart from the payments made to him above, including 57.553L on the one hand, for works in gilt tortoiseshell, lapis, joinery, bronze mounts, models and others which he made for the gallery of the Petit Appartement at the Chateau de Versailles, in the state in which they are described in an inventory ordered by His Majesty, and 14,8991. on the other hand for those (works) in marquetry and bronze carried out on two organ – cases in the state in which they arc described in the inventory also made of these, all delivered by Cucci and placed in the Palais des Tuileries.
11 January 1693: to І). Саксі for the chased and gilt-bronze mouldings for a chimneypicce at the Surintcndance des Bailments at Versailles. 33L 20 January 1693: to Cucci. cb&iiste. for expenses incurred by him and days spent dismantling and removing from the Gobelins to the Galerie des Ambavsadcurs at the Chateau des Tuileries the lapis ami tortoiseshell panelling (made for) the Galerie des Bijoux in the King’s Petit Appartement at Versailles. 197L 9 October 1695: to ( аксі.
£b£niste and caster, for 23 pieds 9 pouces of gilt-braw moulding which he supplied and positioned around the mirrors above the chimneypicce in Monseigneur’s Petite Chambre. 95L
30 October 1695: to Cucci. Ax4niste and caster, for 12 feet of gilt-brass mouldings which he su|>plied for the mirror of the chimneypicce in the Cabinet a la Capucinc of Monscigneur. 361. 22 January 1696: received from Domenico Cuccy, (Ях-niste caster, for the price of 850L weight of bronze which was
supplied to him by Sr Fossier from the store in Paris at 55L the hundred. 467L 26 February: received from D. Cucci for the price of 200L weight of bronze from the King’s stores at 55L the hundred J10L 6 December 1696: to Domenico Cuccy. i4j£nistc and caster, for the bronze moulding round the mirror which he has made for Meudon. 150/.
2 January: to Cucci. tSWniste caster, for the gilt-bronze work which he has carried out at the (Chateau de Saint-Germain since 1686 5381.
Year 1696: to Саксі who is making all the gilt-bronze fittings for the doors ami casements of the Royal Residences, as his annual fee. 60L Year 16971Fontainebleau)
15 September – 6 October: to Domenico Cuccy. caster, for 25 pieds 2 pouces of gilt-bronze mouldings which he has supplied ami fitted to serve as a border for two mirrors which arc placed on the chimneypieces of the Appartement of Mme la Princesse de Conti at the said chateau. 1251.