ndre-Louis Gilbert became a master in 1774 after an apprenticeship under L.-N. Malle, one of the principal marquetry-makers in Paris. He then settled first in the rue Traversiere. then in 1785 in the Grand-Rue du Faubourg Saint – Antoine and was active until 1789. Like his former master he specialized in marquetry pieces and particularly in architectural scenes in the manner of Hubert Robert.
His furniture is generally simple in form, decorated on the front with rectangular panels of minutely detailed marquetry scenes of townscapes with numerous buildings, the windows highlighted with mother – of-pearl. The compositions are often centred on a portico. an arcade or a temple. These marquetry pictures are seldom of the same size as the panels making up
the piece, and the remaining sections are made up with lozenges and rosettes. This would imply that the marquetry panels were made up in advance, without a specific commission in mind, and could be used without distinction on tables. secr£taires or encoignures. It is also likely that Gilbert sold them on to other ebe – nistes such as Birckle. Boudin. Roussel and Dautriche for use on their own furniture, as this marquetry is found on the work of several fellow ebenistes ((198. 288. 367]).
In July 1780 Gilbert placed an advertisement in the Pctites Affiches concerning a roll-top desk topped by a bookcase with panels depicting ruined temples.
F. de Salverte: Les Ebenistes, p. 139
I370J Buffet in Japanese lacquer stamped Cramer, с. 1780. (Culbenkian Museum, Lisbon)