GOLE. c. 1620-84; MASTER BEFORE 1656

O

nly recently, through the researches of Luns – ingh Scheurleer. have we come to know of Pierre Gole. certainly the most important ebeniste during the first half of Louis XIV’s reign. He was born in Bergen near Alkmaar in Holland in about 1620 and settled at a young age in Paris. In about 1643 he worked as apprentice to the ‘menuisier en ebene’ Adrien Garbrant. whose eldest daughter he was soon to marry. The marriage contract, drawn up on 22 January 1645, records that Anne Garbrant was pro­vided with a dowry of 2,(XX) livres. Garbrant was par­tially paralysed and Gole had therefore to assume responsibility for the workshop and the Garbrant family. The connections were strengthened between the two families when one of Pierre’s brothers. Adrien Gole. also a ‘menuisier en ebene’. married Marguerite, a sister to Anne Garbrant. Moreover, another sister. Charlotte Garbrant. married Jean Marot. architect to the Batiments du Roi. and this family connection may explain the origins of royal commissions received by Gole. From as early as 1656, from the time of Maza – rin’s first commissions, a document describes Gole as ‘maitre menuisier en ebene ordinaire du roi’. The first royal order is a vast piece of furniture designed to house Louis XIV’s collection of drawings and medals in his Grand Cabinet du Louvre, delivered in 1661. Phis piece, which was later enlarged until it measured nearly three metres high and as much across, was dec­orated in floral marquetry and gilt bronze, at a cost of 6.600 livres.

Before he concentrated on floral marquetry. Gole produced a number of cabinets in ebony in the man-

/1/ Cabmct. c. 1662, with brother of Louis XIV, at the

floral marquetry on an ivory Palais-Royal, і Victoria and

ground, made for Monsieur, Albert Museum, LondonI ner of his father-in-law. for instance those made in 1646 for the Maitre des Comptes M. Rossignol and for Mace Bertrand de la Baziniere. The latter type stood on spiral columns decorated with vine fronds and birds. In 1661 the first work Gole carried out for the Crown was for the new apartments for the King and Queen at the Chateau de Vincennes. Here he de­livered a cabinet d’architecture in floral marquetry on an ebony ground as well as seven tables, each supplied with a pair of matching gueridons as was fashionable at the time. Two of these tables were decorated in ‘ver – nis fa^on de la Chine’ (japanned), two others with pewter marquetry on a tortoiseshell ground, one embellished with mother-of-pearl and the remaining two with floral marquetry.

At about this time Louis XIV was becoming increasingly interested in Versailles, and Gole was one of the ebenistes, together with Michel Campe, Daniel Manesse. Pierre Lallamant, Jacques Talon. Jean Thierry. Nicolas Hordebois and Sebastien Luce, com­missioned to furnish the new residence. In 1662 Gole supplied three tables decorated with floral marquetry, in the following year a table with ivory and tor­toiseshell marquetry, followed by two cabinets with designs of flowers and birds in ivory and tortoiseshell marquetry in 1664. These cabinets with innovatory glazed doors containing the King’s collection of crys­tals were admired by Mile de Scudery.