FOULLET

ANTOINE, с. 1710-75; MASTER 1749
PI ERR E-ANTOINE, b. c. 1732. MASTER 1765

A

ntoine Foul let was married to Сепеу1ёуе Bailleul at the end of 1730 or early in 1731. They had three children: the eldest. Pierre – Antoine. who followed in his father’s footsteps: Antoine-Andre who became a clock-maker, and Marie-Genevieve who married the bronze-caster Andre-Cesar Vallee.

Antoine Foullet began his career as journeyman or independent ebeniste. but did not become a master until 1749 when he was approaching forty. In 1756 he was elected adjudicator to his guild. He settled in the rue du Faulx>urg Saint-Antoine opposite the rue Saint-Nicolas, and specialized in the production of cases for long-case and other clocks decorated with fine Boulle marquetry, a style he followed throughout his career. His stamp is thus found on clocks with cases in rococo taste such as the one in contrepartie marquetry sold in Paris on 23 June 1978 (Etude Cou – turier-Nicolay. lot 102) as well as examples in Neo­classical taste in the same technique such as that in the

J. Paul Getty Museum which can be dated around 1765-70. Antoine Foullet was settled towards the end of his life at another address in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine giving onto the Cour des Enfants – Trouves (now Square Trousseau). There he died in 1775.

The inventory taken after his death by his col­leagues Balthazar Lieutaud and Francois Duhamel (see Appendix below) itemizes an atelier in full pro­duction with six work-benches equipped with tools as

(297/ Secretaire d abattant marquetry is in the Wallace

attributed to P.-А. Foullet, Collection. (Sotheby’s London, 24

c. 1775; an identical secretaire November 1988, lot 25) signed by Foullet in the

well as a large stock of clocks, either completed or in the course of completion, the whole estimated at 2,718 livres. In the workshop were forty clock-case carcases and carcases for the pedestals of twenty-four clocks, while the storeroom contained twenty com­pleted clocks, a few entirely in bronze, and twenty more clocks which Foullet had labelled according to their decoration (case with fox’, ‘case with peacock’, case with dog and cock’). As Foullet could not pro­duce clocks entirely in bronze himself, it seems that he was selling merchandise outside his trade. The work­shop also contained stocks of models of gilt-bronze mounts (more than two hundred kilos) and pieces of red tortoiseshell, ready to apply to the clock-cases. The papers detailed at the end of the inventory give the names of the bronze-workers employed by Foullet (Heban, Rue des Arcis and Caron senior), and above all. the names of Foullet’s clients. Among the pro­fessionals the most important seems to have been the Sieur Dubois, also called ‘Dubois and company’. This must certainly refer to the marchand-ebeniste Rene Dubois with whom Foullet was constantly doing busi­ness. Also to be found are the names of Abraham – Louis-Droz, Francois Caranda (clock-maker active between 1741 and 1789), Turpin (a Parisian clock – maker), Chevallier (ebeniste), the ‘sieur Gentil’ (the ebeniste Denis Genty?), Allard. Masson. Plumet, Robert. Parquet. Verneuil. Fortier. Geoffroy de Van – dieres. Pclleton, Fumel and Bailly.

It appears that Foullet sold part of his production to private clients, for one finds mention of a file of 134 sheets with the names of customers to whom he sold his works on credit, starting from the year 1765. The inventory certainly confirms that Foullet the Elder produced only clocks. The only commode recorded bearing his stamp (next to that of Boudin), in the

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Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, is wholly in the style of his son. who must have been the maker. Finally, among a group of drawings of clocks dating from about 1770 in the Bibliotheque Doucet in Paris there are a number of examples of rococo and Neo-classical clocks. Although these are stated to be models belong­ing to Foullct’s son. Pierre-Antoine. they correspond exactly to the father’s production, and arc certainly the best illustrated record of his work.

Pierre-Antoine Foullet. born in about 1732. became a master in 1765 and also settled in the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine. His financial situation rap­idly became precarious. Already in 1767 he owed 5.232 livres to his fellow ebeniste Leonard Boudin, from whom he possibly purchased furniture. Antoine Foullet was forced to stand surety for his son and pay a part of his debts, which did not prevent the latter from going bankrupt in January 1769. At the time of Foullet the Elder’s death in 1775. Pierre-Antoine Foullet was still in debt to Boudin, to whom he had all his rights to his father’s estate transferred. This transfer of debts would explain the double stamp (Foullet the Elder/ Boudin) found on the commode in Stockholm men­tioned earlier. As opposed to his father’s speciality in clocks. Pierre-Antoine Foullet seems to have made only the most luxurious furniture. His stamp is found almost always on commodes in Transitional style, more rarely on secretaires a abattant or encoignures. These pieces are almost always decorated with oval medallions in minutely-detailed marquetry featuring bouquets of flowers or Neo-classical urns emphasized by frames made up of gilt-bronze medallions sur­rounded by bands of tulipwood. The gilt-bronze mounts, always very rich, include the same elements: besides the oval medallions already mentioned and forms of laurel fronds, the motif of a smoking casso­lette is often found on the apron, heavy vertical fluting around the central break front and a frieze of inter – /2981 Iі-A. Foullet worked for the ‘fbtniste de la couronne’

Cilies Joubert; this encoignure, one of a pair <і((гіЬм(<ч1 to Foullet, was supplied in 1773 (delivery no. 2727) by foubert for

laced circles and rosettes on the upper drawers. The most sumptuous pieces by Foullet the Younger are three secretaires a abattant. one in the Wallace Collec­tion. the other sold at auction in London (Sotheby’s. 24 Nov. 1988. lot 25). and the third in the National – museum. Stockholm. They are decorated on the fronts with large marquetry panels with architectural subjects. The example in the Wallace Collection bears Foullet’s signature incised in the marquetry, indicat­ing that he himself was the maker of these marquetry pictures. In 1773 a number of pieces by Foullet were delivered through Joubert for the Comte d’Artois’ apartments at Versailles. A pair of encoignures bear­ing the number 2727 were thus delivered on 30 Sep­tember (298]. Now in the Wallace Collection, these unstamped cabinets are unmistakably the work of Foullet. On 8 September a commode was delivered by Joubert to the same apartment, the description of which also points to Foullet as the maker:

No. 2717) [for the Comte d’Artois’ bedroom) A commode a la Regence with kingwood and tulipwotxl marquetry, the top in ‘Griotte d’ltalie’ marble, having two large drawers and three small ones alx>ve. all locked with the same key. richly decorated with escutcheons with rings, the comers formed by pilasters capped by helmets, grilles, friezes and mouldings, the front ornamented with garlands with medallions together with trophies of arms and on the sides of the aprons and feet, the whole in richly overgilt or moulu. length 4‘A> pieds. 25 pouces deep and 35 polices high… (Arch. Nat. 0’3319]

After 1770 Foullet moved to the rue de Charonne where he worked until about 1780. No furniture bear­ing his stamp can be dated later than 1780. which probably implies that he ceased work or died around this date.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arch. Nat. Min. Cent. Et /XXVI11/452: Inventory taken after the death of Antoine Foullet. 30 September 1765 Svcnd Eriksen: Early Neo-Classicism in France. 1974. p. 182

Gillian Wilson: Clocks in thej. Paul Getty Museum. 1976. p. 63

F. de Salvertc: Les Ebenistes. p. 124 Jcan-l)ominique Augarde: ‘Jcan-Joseph de Saint – Germain’. Vergoldete Bronzen. Munich. 1984. vol. II. pp. 521-38

APPENDIX

EXCERPT FROM THE INVENTORY TAKEN AFTER THE DEATH OF ANTOINE ГОиШГГ (ARCH. NAT. MIN. CENT ет/ххупі/452)

List of merchandise, tools an<i implements of his profession of the Lite M Foullet, in the chamber adjoining his workshop, drawn up with the aid of Balthazar Lieutaud living in the rue d’Enfer in the city anti Francois Duhamdle living in the Grand-rue du Faubourg Saint* Antoine, both master Ax;ni*tes in Paris, experts a|>pointcd by the executors:

I ] 1 cartel clock with drapery

in brass, value 601.

2| 1 cartel clock with lion-skin

also in bronze. SOL

3] I rope-shaped cartel clock with rich garlands SOL

4] I cartel clock, the dial of 4 pouccs by S. ( )smonl 241.

5| l small clock with second­
hand. unvarnished, decorated with its mounts, all in bronze 40L

б) I mantel clock called ‘I a Dormeuse’ I The sleeping woman j 801.

7| Another called ‘Le Gros Enfant’ (The plump child’), also in bronze. 60L

8) Another called ‘La Prudence et la Fidclite 401.

9| Another called ‘Lcs Tritons’ 60L

10) Another called ‘Louis Seize’. 451.

111 1 clock with elephant, with

its musical box. 601.

12) 1 mantel clock with IhiII

241.

13| I mantel clock called ‘I a- Repas de chasse’ (The hunting lunch’). 601.

14] I mantel clock called ‘La Dormeuse’. 801.

I5| I mantel clock called'(a^sar Auguste’, prototype. 1441.

16| I clock called ‘Les Tritons’, prototype. SOL

17) 1 clock, model with bower 451.

18) I mantel clock called ‘la Prudence et la Fidllitl’, prototype. 301.

19) l model of a garniture for clock-case £ la grccque, the dial 12 pouccs. 481.

20) 1 large eWnistcrte clock, the dial 12 pouccs. unveneered, mounts with bower. 1301.

211 Mounts cast from those of an d)£nisterie clock in the Antique fashion. 45L

22) Model of a small clock-case with bower. 8 pouces. I5L

23) Model in bronze of a clock – case with second hand 121.

24) Model of a small clock-case with handles. 151.

25) Model of a clock in Antique style with wooden case. SOL

26| Model 8 pouces. with laurel, veneered in marquetry of red tortoiseshell. 801.

27| Model of a case of 10 pouces (new) 36L

28) Model of a clock-case with

second hand, S pouces 18L

29) Model of a case with laurel, of 6 pouces 24L

30) Model of a clock-caw with circles. 11 poocev 481.

31) Two mmiels of clock-cases, one of 8 pouccs. one of 9 poocev 241.

32) Model of a long-case clock, the dial of 11 pouces. 40І.

33) Mode) of a long-case clock, depicting the Four Seasons, of 12 pouccs. 150L

341 Model of a clock in metal with wooden case 11 pouccs.

801.

35) Another clock gilded, the same model 40L 361 A model of a clock-case with fox. 10 pouces. 241.

37) Another model of a clock-

/299/ Commode stamped I*.-A. Foullet, c. 1775. (Christie’s New York, 12 November 1981, lot 214)

case with jxMcock. 10 pouces.

201.

38] Л small model of a clock – case with pierced rocaillc. 9 pouces. 301.

39] Model of a clock-case with sunrise. 11 pouces. 301.

40] Model of a dock-case with dog and cockerel. 11 pouces. Ж

41 ] Model of a clock-case wit h fox and stork. 12 pouces. 36L •12] Model of a clock-case with vines. 6 pouces. 15L

— 25 livres of mixes! cast bronze valued individually at 25 sols to tin – livre. 301.

— 25 livres of mixed cast bronze valued individually at 20 sols to the livre. 25L

— 32 livres of cast bronze made up of figures of children and ornaments at 24 sols to the livre. amounting to 38L

— 30 livres of cast bronze made up of bas-reliefs forelocks and other ornaments valued each at 24 sols to the livre. 361.

— 32 livres of cast bronze marie up of various mixed ornaments priced each at 20 sols to the livre. 32L

— 32 livres of cast bronze made – up of old models each valuer! at 20 sols to the livre. 321.

— 32 livres of cast bronze comprising clock doors and various ornaments for a variety of uses. 32L

— 32 livres of cast bronze comprising clock doors ant! various ornaments, partly unpolished. 32L

— 32 livres of cast bronze comprising various ornaments for a variety of uses, partly unpolished. 321.

— 60 livres of cast bronze – comprising various ornaments, unpolished. 601.

— 52 livres of cast bronze comprising various pieces each priced at 20 sols to the livre. 521.

— I clock garniture of unpolished cast bronze. 15 livres 16L

— 131/.- livres of cast bronze- comprising examples of mouldings and small case garnitures priced at 22 sols to the livre. 141.

— The marquetry of 3 clock – cases in rod tortoiseshell, that is. one complete and 2 others without feet. 241.

— 18 livres of various pieces of bronze and tortoiseshell marquetry, each valued at 18 sols to the livre. the lot 161.

— 1’/«livre of various pieces of red tortoiseshell. 3L

In the workshop next to the chamber (where the merchandise listed above was found), overlooking the rue Saint – Antoine:

— 6 work-benches of different sizes, together with their presses: 3 trying-planes. 4 jack-planes. 2 rabbets and half a trying-plane. 1 toothed plane. 1 round plane and other moulding tools all valued with 6 clamps. 541.

(and various tools…]

—- K) clock cases values! minus

feet each at 30 sols the lot. 67L — 24 wooden clock bases valued each at 15 sols. I8L

2.655L

1300/ Commode stamped P.-A. Foullel. c. 1775. The very detailed marquetry of the oral panels sfritv-s to imitate painting, an effect accentuated by the mounts which surest gi/tuwd picture frames. (Sotheby’s New York. 4 May 1984. lot 65)