DOIRAT

c. 1675-1732; LOU1S-SIMON PA1NSUN. 1700-BEFORE 1748

D

oirat (E.) has the distinction of being the only important ebeniste of the Regence who stamped his work, there being no stamped pieces by Cressent or Gaudreaus recorded. Thus the presence of a stamp facilitates the definition of a homogeneous output; this consisted almost entirely of commodes in palisander with trellis parquetry. Less frequently Doirat used amaranth and kingwood. The carcases of his furniture, generally fairly coarse, are in deal with walnut drawers. The repertory of gilt – bronze mounts is almost always identical, facilitating the attribution of a number of unstamped pieces: the same corner mounts in the form of wreathed female heads, festooned lambrequins and sphinx escutcheons and so on. The inventory taken after his death in 1732. published by M. Augarde, reveals that Doirat also produced types of furniture other than commodes: there are descriptions of bureaux plats, ebonized or in amaranth, bookcases with door-grills, bureaux called ‘secretaires’ (secretaires en pente) in amaranth, night – tables and encoignures. in all 200 varied pieces, fin­ished or incomplete, of which 40 were veneered, including 21 in palisander. 11 in amaranth and four in kingwood. All the commodes either already had marble tops or were designed to take them, rather than marquetry tops.

The name of Gaudreaus appears among Doirat’s debtors. He was certainly overburdened with commis­sions in his position of ebeniste to the Crown, and Doirat must have worked for him. Finally, the inven­tory reveals an interesting detail: ‘100 livres weight of imperfect lead casts used for garnitures for commodes and other pieces of furniture’… and then ‘250 livres of mounts, either chased or unchased, repaired for garnitures for commodes and other pieces’. Here is proof that Doirat kept exclusive control of his bronze casts, retaining not only the lead models but the unchased mounts and finished examples ready to be applied to the furniture. One is therefore on stronger ground when attributing certain pieces on the basis of the mounts. At the same time the inventory mentions only ‘bronzes en couleur’ (varnished) and not in gilt-bronze.

Doirat, born c. 1673-80. was married in 1704 while he was living in the Grand-Rue du Faubourg Saint – Antoine. He resided in this quarter all his life, settling in turn in the rue Saint-Marguerite in 1711. and the Grand-Rue again in about 1720, in a house under the sign of‘la Croix Rouge’. In 1726 he installed his work­shop in the Cour de la Contrescarpe-des-Fossees-de- la-Bastille just within the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. in lodgings overlooking the trenches around the Bastille. His affairs would seem to have prospered, for in 1720 he provided his daughter Madeleine with a large dowry (2.500 livres). Moreover, in 1731 he leased premises in the Rue Saint-Нопогё opposite the church of Saint-Roch, in order, no doubt, to sell his furniture. This quarter was considered a fashionable address by financiers and all retailers of luxury goods were estab­lished here. In 1732 Doirat was certainly a fashionable ebeniste. The inventory made on his death describes numerous pieces of furniture either completed or under construction and stocks of wood, and at least eleven work-benches.

His work was continued by his son-in-law. Louis – Simon Painsun (born 17(X), died before 1748). who used the stamp L. S. P. Little is known of L. S. P.’s career: son of Francois Painsun. who was a master ebeniste living in the rue Saint-Nicolas in the Fau­bourg Saint-Antoine in 1727, Louis-Simon Painsun married Doirat’s daughter in 1720 and probably worked with his father-in-law. On Doirat’s death in

/76/ Commode stamped Donat, veneered in bois sat me and amaranth. ISotheby’s Monaco, 26 Ncnember 1979, bt 256)

1771 Commode stamped Donat, in amaranth. (Sotheby’s Monaco, 23 June 1985, bt 822)

DOIRAT

1732 Louis-Simon’s father took over the lease and all the stock of Doirat’s shop in the rue Saint-Нопогё. It is likely that Louis-Simon took over the responsibility for the business. At the same time, L. S. P. must have supplied furniture to Migeon as their two stamps appear. side by side on a table (Dalva Brothers, New York). L. S. P.’s style was also close to that of Migeon. with a preference for kingwood veneered in ‘butterfly wings’. Numerous commodes by him are recorded with three rows of drawers separated by bronze flut – ings. A characteristic trait is the central drawer at the bottom which is recessed, an old-fashioned detail reminiscent of the form of the bureau from which the commode developed (sale Parke-Bernet New York. 13 May 1960. lot 314; sale Christie’s London, 19 March 1970; sale Nicolay, Paris. 12 March 1974, lot 174; sale Sotheby’s Monaco. 9 December 1984. lot 995).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jcan-Dominique Augarde: B. Doirat. menuisicr en ёЬёпе’, The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. XIII, 1985. note 11. p. 34

1811 Pedestal in tortoiseshell. с. 17JO; the bearded masks at the corners are also found on a number of other pieces of furniture by the ‘Master of the Pagodas’. The clock with Apollo’s chariot of which there is another example at Fontainebleau Iconfiscated from Chantilly during the Reivlutton) must be attributed to Boulle; it appeared in the Blondel de Gagny sale in /776 and then again in / 78J in the Blondel d’Azincourt sale, attributed to Boulle with the comment: ‘madefor the Regent’. iResidenzmuseum, Munich)