DUBOIS’ PRODUCTION

Rene Dubois used the same stamp as his father. I DUBOIS’, which makes the attribution of certain pieces problematic. But as Jacques IXilwis died in 1763 (and despite the fact that the inventory after his death men­tions several pieces a la grecque’), it is reasonable to attribute the furniture in rococo taste to the father.

13281 iMrgc armoire-seerftaire stamped Dubois and J. Goyer in Japanese lacquer. Stephane lloiron has discovered the contract drawn up in і 774 between Goyer and the gilder Denis Joseph Rabulfor the gilding of the mounts of this piece at the enormous cost of5,000/..

(Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire)

and those pieces in Neo-classical taste to the son. In any case the green-painted furniture mentioned in the 1772 inventory does not appear in the inventory after Jacques Dubois’ death. These pieces therefore must be by Rene Dubois. His work consisted mostly of pieces of furniture designed for women: secr£taires a abat – tant. sometimes surmounted by display cabinets, secretaires, small .semi-circular commodes and l>on – heurs-du-jour. They are decorated with scenes of putti. in the manner of Louis-Felix de La Rue (1731-65), painted en camai’cux in tones of beige. More rarely, certain pieces were decorated with har­bour scenes after Vernet: this decoration is found on a commode at Waddesdon Manor, and a secretaire dis­play-cabinet formerly in the Anthony de Rothschild Collection (sale Christie’s. 13 June 1923. lot 54) (326). A number of these pieces were bought at the time by foreigners: the bureau plat and cartonnier in the Wal­lace Collection (340) were originally in the Prince Kourakin Collection before 1810. while a secretaire a abattant at Schloss Ludwigsburg was acquired in about 1775 by the I^andgrave of Hesse. Rene Dubois also made more sumptuous furniture in Japanese lac­quer such as the commode with doors and matching encoignures in the Cleveland Museum of Art (335. 337], made in about 1770. and another identical com­mode now at Waddesdon Manor (bearing both Dubois’ and Montignv’s stamps). The taste for chinoi-

13321 This secretaire d abattant stamped Dubois in imitation Chinese lacquer can be linked to an advertisement which appeared in L’Avant-Coureur of 1772for ‘secretaires in the Chinese taste decorated with paintings and mounts’ which could be found at the dealer Granchez’s shop. An identical secretaire was sold by Parke

Bernet, New York, 9 October 1971, lot 232. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Unsky Collection)

(333J Secretaire <i abattant stamped Dubois, c. 1770, in imitation Japanese lacquer, close to examples in chinoiserie taste sold by Granchez. (Private collection)

very close terms with him (he was a witness at Dubois’ marriage in 1772). was probably the maker of all these desks. This series of furniture must be dated very early, from about 1765-70: Svend Eriksen has ident­ified one of these desks at Croome Court, supplied by Poirier to the Earl of Coventry on 12 March 1765.

The ornamentation of the gilt-bronze mounts on Dubois’ furniture is often extremely rich, but above all very diverse, and it is difficult to single out character­istics. The majority of motifs, Greek key pattern. Vitruvian scroll borders, lions’ heads, strapwork and piastres, are all part of the vocabulary of early Neo­classical decorative ornament between 1765 and 1775. The influence of Boulle is patent in the use of massive gilt-bronze mounts on furniture in ebony or black lac­quer. Moreover. Dubois restored a number of Boulle pieces in his workshop, probably with the intention of reselling them. Two small cupboards at Waddesdon Manor bear Dubois’ stamp, and he must have restored them as well as probably altering them. Л number of other Boulle pieces, dating from about 17(X), also carry his stamp: a console table in the Wallace Collection and a console table formerly in the Ancel Collection. Montigny’s workshop was mainly engaged in this work. and. having close connections with Dubois. Montigny collaborated with the latter in the making of
a number of pastiches of Boulle furniture. The pair of low armoires in the Wallace Collection bear the stamps of Dubois, Montigny and Levasseur, one beside the other.

Rene Dubois’ work is extremely eclectic and bears the imprint of numerous influences: this applies even to the gilt-bronze mounts which sometimes include elements by Cressent. bought at the latter’s sale in 1769. The secretaire at Schloss Ludwigsburg is decor­ated with the motif of Antiope and the eagle which came from Cressent’s stock of bronzes, and the same motif of the eagle is found on a secretaire in the Far – man sale (15 March 1973) (341].

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arch. Nat.. Min. Cen. CXX1I. 779: inventory of Dubois’ workshop in 1772

Stdphane Boiron: memoir for the Ecole du Louvre on the Dubois family. 1989

Geoffrey de Bellaigue: note on Rene Dubois in cat. The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, vol II. pp. 870-71

13361 Console table in ebony, one of <i pair stamped Dubois, с. 1770; they can be identified in the inventory of the widow Dubois in 1772from their high valuation – ‘2 tables en console richly decorated in ebony ungilded, valued together 12001.’. Another іміг, identical but with white marble tops, formerly in the Stroganoff Collection in St Petersburg, can be recognized in a drawing, now in the I lermitage, showing the gallery of Count Stroganoff c. 1790. (Galerie Segoura. Pans)

13371 Commode in Japanese lacquer stamped Dubois, c. 1770. An almost identical piece, stamped Dubois and Montigny, is at Waddesdon Manor (Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio)

(338] Commode stamped Dubois, c. 1775; the painted decor in cameos of beige on a green ground was a speciality of Rent Dubois. The scenes of children are inspired by the work of Louis-Ftlix de La Rue. (Private collection)

]339] (right) The same scenes of children in cameos of beige and green as shown at /338] are found on this secretaire stamped Dubois, c. 1772. (Christie’s London, 29June 1967, lot 77)
]341] (right) Secretaire d abattant stamped Dubois. c. J 770. With its pair пош in Schloss Ludwtgsburg, if is mentioned in the inventory of the stock of the widow Dubois in 1772. (Private collection)

Philippe-Claude