JOSEPH AND THE DEALERS

The names of the dealers to whom Joseph supplied furniture are known. During the first part of his career he worked for Lazare Duvaux, as is shown by the inventory taken after Duvaux’s death at which time he owed Joseph 1.726 livres. Moreover, a tall writing – desk by Joseph has been identified as the one supplied by Duvaux in 1758 for the Cx>mte de Cobenzl (235]. It is possible that Joseph also made the marquetry com­mode supplied by Duvaux to the same client in 1756. At the same time Joseph was also working for the mar – chand Darnault: the lacquer commode in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the two commodes in the National Gallery. Washington, and the upper section of the cartonnier in the Hermitage all bear his label.

Between the years 1760 and 1770 he was commis­sioned by Poirier to make a number of pieces of sump­tuous Neo-classical furniture such as the lacquer commode supplied to the Marquis de Marigny in 1766 and the suite of furniture supplied to the Mar­quis de Brunoy. Moreover, all the porcelain-mounted bureaux were certainly made for Poirier as the latter
held a quasi-monopoly over the purchase of these plaques from the Sevres manufactory (a number of identical models are recorded, one at Waddesdon Manor, and two others in the Huntington Library). They are the first examples of ladies’ bureaux plats, well before those produced by Carlin in about 1775-80. ЛИ these bureaux are mounted with the same porcelain plaques of seqxmtine outline obviously designed for curvilinear commodes such as that by В. V. R. B. [ 189] and not ideally suited to the flat surfaces of Joseph s pieces, a fact which he was forced to mask with heavy gilt-bronze framing. This awkward treatment has led certain experts to suggest that the plaques were nineteenth-century additions. However, the repetition of this feature on many bureaux would exclude this hypothesis. The expla­nation could be that Poirier ordered specially fitted plaques for Carlin’s furniture while to Joseph he sup­plied second-choice plaques to lie mounted on less costly furniture. The few dated plaques which it has been possible to find on these pieces place them be­tween 1760 and 1765. that is. just a little earlier than the porcelain-mounted pieces by Carlin (his earliest bonheur-du-jour dates from 1765).

Leger Bertin was another dealer for whom Joseph worked between 1750 and 1760: his label is found on the marquetry commode from this period in the Musee Jacquemart-Andre. For Julliot. who special­ized in the sale of Boulie furniture (furniture made by

Boulle as well as later copies). Joseph made two low bookcases, one of which is now in the Wallace Collec­tion. the other at Alexander and Berendt Ltd. These two pieces are recorded among the sale of Julliot s commercial assets in 1777 and later belonged to the Comte de Vaudreuil. Their strongly emphasized Neo­classical style makes it possible to date them to the 1770s. near the end of Joseph’s career. Other furniture in Boulle marquetry by Joseph is recorded and must have been made for Julliot. including the two cabinets decorated with pielra-dura for the Due d’Aumont (now at Versailles) and the secretaire made for Ran – don de Boisset (now reveneered in mahogany) also at Versailles. Finally, there are records of other dealers for whom Joseph worked: Hebert. Hericourt. Hece – guere. Foulon. Manet and the ebeniste Roussel.