FLORAL MARQUETRY

After 1740 В. V. R. B. revived the art of floral mar­quetry. which had gone out of fashion in France by 1700. The first pieces of furniture in floral marquetry supplied to the Garde-Meuble Royal were those de­livered by Hubert in 1745 for the Dauphin and Dau – phine at Versailles. They were almost all pieces by В. V. R. B.. who was one of Hebert’s principal sup­pliers. В. V. R. B. perfected marquetry in bois de bout composed of flowers in kingwood standing out on a ground of light-coloured wood. In his early work he used bois satine for the ground, sometimes framed in
amaranth. This can be seen on the bureau plat sup­plied in 1745 by Hebert for the Dauphin at Versailles [172]. or the secretaire supplied in the same year, also by Hebert, for the Dauphine [ 179] or on the mineral – specimen cabinet for Machault d’Arnouville dated be­tween 1745 and 1749. The deliveries by Hebert for the Dauphin and Dauphine in January and February 1745 consisted moreover of others pieces of furniture in bois satine and kingwood. also no doubt by В. V. R. B. Later. В. V. R. B. used tulipwood rather than bois satine for his marquetry grounds. This can be seen on a large secretaire delivered by Lazare Duvaux in 1755 for Louis XV at the Trianon [190]. The series of secre­taires к abattant [177] must date from the years be­tween 1755 and 1764. They probably correspond to certain deliveries by Lazare Duvaux. the important marchand-mercier of the period, such as the following delivery in 1756 for Louis XV’s Cabinet at Saint – Hubert:

No. 2163) A secretaire en armoire in tulipwood veneered with flowers in kingwood. decorated with gilt-bronze mounts, the base having two hinged doors closed with a key. The front, also closed with a key. folds down to form

11761 Commode stamped

В. V. R. В., с. 1755, with floral

marquetry in bois de bout on a tulipwood ground. I Sotheby’s New York, 6 November 19821

1177J Secretaire Л abattant stamped В. V. R. B, with floral marquetry in bois de bout on a tulipwood ground, c. 1755-60.

In 1758 імгате Duvaux supplied Louis XV at the Chateau de Saint-llubert with a secretaire of this type at a cost of 1.320L.

IMusee de Gencie, Lord Michelham Bequest I

/ і 78 j Secretaire en pente stamped li. V. R. B. in blue vernis imitating Japanese lacquer; mounts struck with crowned XT <c. 17-15-491. (Archives Caterie Steinitz, Paris)

I180J Small writing-table stamped li. V. R. li., с. 1750-60, in tulipwood. ISotheby’s Monaco, 4 December 1986. lot 2<>4l
11811 (below centre) Small table attributed to li. V. R. li., fitted with a Sevres porcelain top dated 1760, bearing ink inscription ‘Poirier, rnarchand, rue St-l І споте a Paris’. One of the very first pieces of furniture decorated with porcelain, of which Poirier was to make a speciality. IChristie’s London, 29 Nmvmbcr 1973. lot 106)
1179/ Secretaire en pente stamped В. V. R. B., supplied in 1745 by the marchand-mercier Hubert for the Dauphine at Versailles, along with a lacquer commode and a marquetry table also probably by В. V. R. B.; floral marquetry in bois de bout on a bois saline ground. iMusee de Versailles)
11831 (right) Portrait of Mme de Pompadour painted by Boucher in 1756; on the right is a small table by B. V.R. B. which must hate been bought through the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux. (Alte Pinakothek, Munich) 11821 Small secretaire en cabinet, or jewel-cabinet, attributed to li. V. R. li.. c. J 760; floral marquetry in bois de bout on a tulipwood ground. ISotheby’s Monaco, 22 June 1986, lot 6341

a writing surface covered in crimson velvet and fitted with five drawers opening with a button, one of which on the right is fitted with inkwell, powder-box and sponge-box in silver. The cupboard and drawers arc lined with fabric, the secretaire is 3 pieds 4 pouces long. 16 polices deep and 4 pieds high. [Arch. Nat. 0*3317.1

The years 1745-49 mark the appearance of tulip – wood furniture: it was in 1749 that the first examples of tulipwood furniture are noted in the records of Lazare Duvaux. while those of the Garde-Meuble Royal note the first delivery of tulipwood furniture in 1745. В. V. R. B. also made secretaires a abattant for the dealer Poirier, who succeeded Duvaux as the pre­siding genius of 1760s Parisian fashion. At least two secretaires by В. V. R. B. bear Poirier’s handwritten inscription in ink: one in lacquer in the British Royal Collection, the other in marquetry in a Belgian private collection. We know that В. V. R. B. worked for Poi­rier before 1753. as his name features at this time in a list of creditors of Heceguere and Poirier.

the result of the initiative of the marchands-merciers Hebert. Darnault and Poirier, who made a speciality of it and who were among the few dealers who could afford oriental lacquer wares. As well as precious chests. Japanese screens and cabinets were cut up to form the main panels on commodes, the remaining surfaces being filled in with French lacquer imitating Japanese lacquer, a speciality of the Martin brothers. Hebert was the first to supply this type of furniture to the Garde-Meuble Royal; and he had certainly invented it. The very first delivery took place in 1737. consisting of a commode in Japanese lacquer stamped В. V. R. B.’. made for Maria Leszczynska’s cabinet de retraite at Fontainebleau [187J. It is surely the earliest documented example of panels of oriental lacquer cut horizontally by drawer divisions. The furniture sup­plied by Hebert to the Crown was stamped either by Criard or В. V. R. B. who were his principal suppliers at the time. It would seem that the former preferred to deal in furniture in Chinese lacquer or vernis Martin, while the latter specialized in furniture decorated with