PRODUCTION

Joubert’s work is difficult to define. He seems to have made very little use of the stamp, from the use of which he was exempt on becoming ’£b£niste du roi’ from 1763. In theory we should study his production from the furniture he supplied to the Garde-Meuble Royal. However, these pieces, made for the Crown from 1751 onwards (he was already sixty-two years old) are often stamped by younger $^nistes to whom he would subcontract, such as Antoine-Mathieu Criard. Jacques Dubois. Francois Mondon. Cramer, Leonard Boudin. Pierre-Antoine Foullet. Nicolas – Jean Marchand, Louis Peridiez and especially Roger Vandercruse. All that can be attributed with certainty to Joubert are half-a-dozen pieces bearing his stamp, or unstamped furniture made for the Crown. However, we must also attribute to him other furni-

ture commissioned from Joubert. but stamped by his colleagues, in that they either completed a suite already begun by him. or followed his prototypes or mounts. It is very obvious that there is a ‘Joubert style’ which applies to his work as much as to that of Criard and Vandercruse. It could be described as a restrained rococo style and. in the years 1769-74, as Neo- classicism tempered by rococo. In the 1760s Joubert hardly used floral marquetry: it is only found on the commode of M. de I’Averdy (213] and on a small table made for Madame Victoire at Fontainebleau. He pre­ferred to use tulipwood veneer framed by strips of kingwood, which can be seen as much on the com­modes for La Muette in 1754 as on the commode which was supplied by Riesener in 1784. Equally Joubert used marquetry designed in a lozenge pattern throughout his career. The curves of his furniture are soft and the mounts are of a calm and symmetrical design. The same scrolled cartouche is found on the front of several of his commodes, as well as the lacquer ones made by Marchand for the Queen’s Bedchamber at Fontainebleau in 1755 (202] and those produced in the previous year by Criard for the Pavilion at La Muette (224J. The corner-mounts of these pieces often have large symmetrical motifs, often a pierced bouquet of flowers. In the two recorded desks, the one in red lacquer made for the King in 1759 [203] and the

1205/ Encoignure, one of a pan with marquetry of *interlaced hearts and losenges’, bearing the mark of the Chateau de Bellevue;

fall-front example delivered in 1755 for Ohoisy. the same characteristic line is found, abruptly separating the side drawers from the central one.

Between the years 1769 and 1774 Joubert bowed to the new fashion in perfecting a new style of furniture for the Royal Residences, elegantly Neo-classical in its decor of gilt-bronze mounts and its marquetry, but in its form still bearing the imprint of the rococo taste. For instance, several commodes of this period were designed with doors on the sides like the furniture of Gaudreaus or Cressent. Also the central break-front section, typical of all Transitional commodes, is marked in Joubert’s examples by curved lines remi­niscent of rococo taste. On the other hand the mounts on all these pieces are designed in the new style: friezes of Vitruvian scrolls or interlaced ovals with rosettes, rectangular frames to panels with rosettes in the canted corners, the apron decorated en cul de /206/ Secretaire d abattant stamped Carlin and Kintz bearing the mark of the Chateau de Bellevue; the marquetry of ‘interlaced hearts and losenges as well as the mounts of standing female figures, ij characteristic of

lampe. It is in the design of the corner-mounts that these pieces reveal their character and richness. The simplest have plaques decorated with laurel garlands. In the richest there are four variants: classical female busts (which Riesener used again on the commode for Louis XVl’s Cabinet Interieur at Versailles in 1774) are to be found in 1769 on the commode made for Madame Louise at Versailles (J. Paul Getty Museum) as well as on the secretaire a abattant (whereabouts unknown) also made for Madame Louise. Infant tri­tons. one holding birds, the other flowers, appear on a commode made for Marie-Antoinette at Fontai­nebleau (whereabouts unknown) as well as on a com­mode for the Comtesse de Provence at Fontainebleau (formerly in the Ingersoll Collection) and on three pieces of furniture delivered in 1774: the secretaire for the Comte d’Artois at Compiegne (formerly in the

{207J Secretaire a abattant with corner mounts in the form of infant tritons stamped R. V. L. C., U’/to made the piece under Joubert’s supervision. The latter supplied it in і 774 to the Comte d’Artois at Compiegne

collection of Lord Wharton), the example delivered ‘for the Royal Residences’, and the commode for Madame Adelaide at Marly (the latter two pieces now in the Victoria and Albert Museum) (209. 211].

The motif of standing female figures composed of bacchantes holding cups was employed in 1771 on two commodes for Marie-Antoinette at Versailles (whereabouts unknown) and on a secretaire made at an unknown date for Bellevue (formerly in the collec­tion of the Duke of Abercorn). Finally, another motif consisted of the figures of Bacchus and Hebe, which are found on two commodes made for the Comte and Comtesse d’Artois at Versailles and on a third com­mode made for the Comte d’Artois at Compiegne (the whereabouts of all three are unknown).

For the most part the veneering on these pieces is geometric (described as ‘mosaic’) and of two distinct types: lozenges in kingwood framed in tulipwood with small gilt-bronze rosettes at the cross-sections, a motif particular to Joubert; and ‘hearts and lozenges inter­twined’. a type of rounded lozenge imitating metal trelliswork and commonly used by Joubert as well as other eb^nistes at this time such as Carlin and R. V. L. C. A characteristic detail of Joubert s work is the presence of small gilt-bronze rosettes in the centre of the lozenges. A third type of veneering found on this series of royal furniture belonging to the years be­tween 1769 and 1774, floral marquetry, was not car­ried out by Joubert but by R. V. L. C. It is found on numerous pieces of furniture executed by R. V. L. C. for private clients.

The fact remains that Joubert’s work cannot be studied before his first deliveries to the Garde-Meuble Royal in 1748 when he was nearly sixty. Nothing is known of his production before this date.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arch. Nat.. Min. Cent. Et/CXVIl/852: inventory following the death of Joubert‘s wife. 16 March 1771; and Et/CXVII/872: inventory following the death of Gilles Joubert. 25 October 1775

Daniel Alcouffe: Exh. cat. Louis XV, Hotel de la Monnaie, Paris. 1974, pp. 319-21

Svend Eriksen: Early Neoclassicism in France, p. 193 Hugh Roberts: ‘Gilles Joubert as subcontractor’. Journal of the Furniture History Society, 1985. xxi, pp. 32-35 Gillian Wilson: Two newly discovered pieces of royal French furniture’. Les Melanges Verlet, Antologia di belle arti, 1985. nos 27-28, pp. 64-68

1210} Encoignurc, one of a pair with trellis marquetry supplied by Joubert in 17691delivery no.

2557) for Madame Victoire at Versailles, stamped Peridiez who made it under Joubert’s supervision. (Museedc Versailles)

APPENDIX

I. I. IST < >K FURNITURE MADE BY GILLES JOUBERT OK MADE UNDER I IIS SUPERVISK>N

A. Furniture stamped ■Joubert’:

1) Kidney-shaped table with floral marquetry top; the mounts struck with a crowned ‘C‘ (Sotheby’s London. 17 May l%3. lot 172).

2) Commode with marquetry of lozenge shape with modified mounts. beating the number 1909-3 and deliverer! in 1753 (sale Sotheby’s London 1969 and 24 November 1972. lot 90; sale Versailles 25 May 1976. lot 931 (2I5| 1212J Commode d encoignures supplied in 1769 by Joubert for Madame Victoire at Compiegne (delivery no. 2550), stamped by R. V. LC. who made it under Joubert’s supervision. (Frick Collection. New York)

3) Commode with lozenge­shaped marquetry almost identical to the previous piece (Chateau d’Usse illustrated in: Mcrveilleux meubles de France. 1988. p. 781.

4) Commode with floral mar<|uetry delivered in 1766 to M. de la Laverdy in Paris (Gallery Gismondi) bearing the number 2395 (213).

5) Lacquer commode (Museum of Fine Arts. Boston],

6) Commode veneered in tulipwood delivered in 178-1 by Kiesener (illustrated in Les Ubenistes du XVШе siecle

fran^ais. Hachette. 1963. p. 69): small stamp of second type framed by two fleur-de-lys.

7) Bureau de dame, formerly in the collection of the Vieomte fleuret. identified by Salverte from the small stamp.

8) Games table, formerly in the collection of the Baron de Gunzbourg. identified by Salverte.

9) Commode in fish-scale marquetry (Boston Museum of Fine Arts), stamped only with the letters ‘I О UIV; bearing the mark of the Chateau de Kamlxniillet) [217|.

10) Commode is vantaux

veneered in kingwood and amaranth (sale Christie’s New York. 13 June 1987. lot 112].

B. Furniture delivered by Joubert to the Gardc-Mcublc Royal, unstamped И) CCommode in white and red verms Martin delivered in 1755 for Madame Adelaide at Versailles, no. 1965 (Music de Versailles) (214.)

12) Secretaire cn pentc. originally in lacquer, now with Boulle marquetry, delivered in 1755 to the Chateau tie (‘.hoisy bearing the number 1971 (J. B. Speed Museum. Louisville, Kentucky).

13) Table with lozenge-shaped marquetry delivered in 1755 for Madame Adelaide at (’.hoisy, private collection.

14) Bureau plat in reel lacquer no. 2131 delivered in 1759 for the Cabinet Intlricur of Louis XVI at Versailles (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

15) Commode with lozenge marquetry, delivered in 176-1 for the Comte d’Artois at Fontainebleau, bearing the number 2321 (sale Lille. 23 April 1989. lot 158)

16) Commode en tombeau

delivered in 1765 ‘for the various needs of the (’.bateau de Fontainebleau’ [sale Sotheby’s London. 11 July 1980. lot 1331 bearing the number 2374.

17) Large commode with lozenge marquetry delivered in 1769 for Madame Louise at Versailles (J. Paul (Jetty Museum) with the number 2556

18) Writing-table with floral marquetry delivered in 1770 for Madame Vktoire at Fontainebleau (Louvre) with the number 2589.

19) Small commode with marquetry of interlaces! hearts and lozenges, delivered in 1774 for the Comte d’Artois for his private study at Compiegnc (private collection. Paris); this piece was copied in 1787 by Benneman

20) Pair of encoignures with marquetry of interlaced hearts anti lozenges bearing the mark of the Chateau de Bellevue, probably delivered in about 1774 (Galerie Gismondi) (2051.

21) Commode delivered for the bedroom of the Comiexsc d’Artois at Versailles in 1773 with the number 2718. [Floors Саміе. Kelso. Duke of Roxburgh’s collection) (304).

22) Commode with infant tritons’ With geometric marquetry, delivered in 1774 for Marlame Adelaide at Marly |Victona and AHiert Museum) with the numlx-r 2767 [in fact delivered by Kiesener) (21 I]

23) Secretaire і abattant ‘with infant tritons in lozenge- marquetry delivered in 1774 to be used in the royal household’, with the number 2768 (209).

24) Secretaire a abattant stamped (larlin and Kintz matching the encoignures also liearing the mark of the Chateau de Bellevue, but also adorned with oval porcelain plaque* (formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Abercom. sale Christie’s Іликіоп. 1966) (206) [213/ (Commode stamped Joubert and supplied by him in 1766for M. de fAverdy, Comptroller of Finance in Pans. / comparison with the example shown at /212/ highlights the stylistic evolution of Joubcrt’s work between і 766 and 1769. (Galerie Gismondi, Pans)

C. furniture supplied by Joubert stamped by other furniture-makers but executed under his superv ision or in his style

25) Commode veneered in tulipwood. stamped ‘Criard’. delivered with three others in 1754 for Louis XV to the Chateau de la Muette. number 1939 (sale Sotheby’s London. 5 July 1985. lot 74)

261 l-acquer commode stamped Marchand’ delivered in 1755. one of a pair for the Іч-droom of the Queen at Fontainebleau (Wallace Collect ion I (2021

27) Large commrxle with encoignures stamped К V L. C ‘ with marquetry with flowers and trophies delivered in 1769 for Madame Victoire at (kxnp&gne

I Frick Collection) with the number 2550 (212)

28) Pair of encoignures with lozenge marquetry stamped *L. Peridiez’. wjth the number 2557. delivered in 1769 for Madame Victoire at Versailles (Musee de Versailles) (210)

29) Marquetry commode with flowers and a mask of Mercury, stamped ‘Cramer’, deliverer! with

its pair in 1771 for the Comte tie Provence at Fontainebleau (Anthony de Rothschild Collection. Ascott), with the number 2630.

30) C-ommode with floral marquetry ‘with infant tritons’, stamper! R V L. C. delivered in 1771 for the Comtcsse de Provence at Fontainebleau, bearing the number 2636 (sale Christie’s. New York. 11 November 1977. lot 128)

31) Secretaire і abattant ‘with infant tritons’, with marquetry with hearts and interlaced lozenges stamped ‘R V. L. delivered on 1 June 1774 to the Comte d’Artois at Compiegne. recorded in 1787 in the cabinet of the (lomte d’Artois at Compiegne (formerly in the collection of Lord Wharton, sale Christie’s London. 19 March 1970. lot 100) with the number 2753(207)

I) . Furniture supplied by Joubert. stamped by other ebeniste* and executed in their individual styles

32) Night-table, stamped A M. Criard, numbered 2006. supplied in 1755 for Madame de

Pompadour at Choisy (Music des Arts D&oratils. Paris|.

33) Night-table, stamped A.

M. Criard. with the number 1952. supplier! in 1754 for the Dauphinc at Fontainebleau (sale Sotheby’s Monaco. 5 February 1978)

34) Bureau plat in lx>is sat ini. stamped F. Mondon. with the number 2071. the mounts stam|ied with a crowned ‘C

11745—49). supplied in 1757 for the ( ximte de Saint-Florentin at the Louvre.

35) Night-table, stamped ‘J. Dubois*. with the number 2235. supplied in 1763 for ‘the princes’ at (lompiegne (sale Sotheby’s Monaco. 11 February 1979. lot 211).

36) Encoignure, stamped ‘A. M. (Iriard.’ supplied for Compi&gnc |( ‘.bateau <le Saumurl

37) Small marquetry commrxle. stamped ‘L. Boudin.’ with the number 2631. supplied in 1771 for the Comte de Provence at Fontainebleau. (Christie’s. (Jodmersham. 6 June 19831 (249)

38) Bureau plat, stamped ‘L Boudin.’ in Greek key-pattern marquetry, with the number

(214] Commode in white and red vernis Martin, supplied by Joubert in 1755for Madame Adelaide at Versailles (delivery no. 1965). (Mustede Versailles)

(215] Commode veneered in trellis marquetry, supplied in 1753 with <U4> others by Joubert to the Garde-Meuble Royal; mounts replaced. (Sotheby’s London, 5 December 1979, lot 46)

2620. supplied in 1771 for the Comte dc Provence at Compiigne (private collection. Paris) (293)

39) Commode decorated with floral marquetry, stamped

R V L. C..’ with the number 2622. delivered with its pair in 1771 for the (Cabinet of the Comtcssc de Provence at Comptegne (sale Adcr. 5 !>eeember 1979. lot 109).

40) Commode with floral marquetry, stamped ‘R. V. L. C..‘ with the numlx-r 2666. delivered with its pair in 1772 for the Salon de Compagnic of Mmc du Barry at Versailles (Manchester Museum).

41) Cylinder bureau stamped ■RiCsener’. delivered in 1773 for the Comtesse de Provence at Versailles, bearing the number 2729 (Culbenkian Foundation. Lisbon).

42) Pair of encoignures attributed to P. Л. Foullct delivered in 1773 to the Comte d’Artois at Versailles (Wallace Collection) with the number 2727. possibly reveneered (298).

II. EXTRACT FROM THE INVENTORY FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF JOUBKRT’S WIFE ON 16 MARCH 1771

Inventory of the furniture, merchandise and utensils in the workshop on the first floor overlooking the rue St Anne by Balthuzar Coulon ліні Pierre Denizot

1 ] 2 large old cabinets

decorated with gilt-bronze mounts with carved and gilt legs, priced together 8001.

2) One bookcase in amaranth, with 2 sections, one tric-trac table in the English style. 2 tables 4 patin of kingwood. one table en pupitre a lima^on’ also in kingwood. one table for playing quadrille. 2 dual-purpose tables, altogether 312L

3) 6 commodes in tulipwood and kingwood. one with its marble and mounts, altogether 256L

4) 5 commodes comprising 3 of 441 pieds and 2 of 4 pieds in length of which 4 are decorated with ungilded mounts and the other is not decorated at all, altogether 1.180L

5) 8 commodes comprising: 2 of 4 Vi pieds in length decorated with ungilded mounts, the corner-mounts with figures and the 6 others without mounts of which one is decorated with vernis dc Paris, altogether 1.500L

6) One large armoire in kingwood and tulipwood with 3 doors decorated with rich bronze mounts. 2 other armoires in Chinese lacquer decorated with gilt-bronze mounts and 4 encoignures also decorated with their mounts, altogether 2,3001.

7) 4 secretaires en armoires. different sizes, one decorated with its mounts, one partly decorated and the other 2 undccoratcd with one other secretaire a cylindre undecorated, altogether 1.210L

8) 3 commode chairs in kingwood. 8 tallies dc nuit in coloured woods with marble tops. 3 encoignures in different kinds of wood, without mounts.

4 open shelves, altogether 4821.

9) One bureau in tulipwood in Antique style with its quart-de­rood. 2 tables in tulipwood undccorated. 3 tables і pottcric decorated with mounts, of which 2 with gilt-bronze mounts, altogether 781L

10) 12 tables in different kinds of wood and of different forms and sizes. 3031.

11) 3 kidney-shaped tables, one reading table. 2 toilet-tables, of which one decorated and one heart-shaped table also decorated and one other table with stand.

altogether 6281.

12) One commode en armoire with its top in brfcche d’Alep marble, one clock case with its base, one encoignure in reddened wood, two small shelves or tablettes with doors in kingwood and one small shelf, altogether 380L

13) 10 coffers in various woods and in different sizes and three skins of black morocco from Rouen, altogether 72L

14) 2 piquet tables. 3 quadrille tables, each covered in velvet, one table for brclan. 3 for tri and one for piquet, each covered in cloth, altogether 72L

15) 16 walnut writing-tables, altogether 72L

16) 7 night-tables in walnut. 6 in cherrywood, 2 of which with marble tops. 5 commode chairs in walnut, altogether J181.

17) 5 walnut commodes, altogether 120L

18) 2 old encoignures in kingwood. one kingwood table & patin. one dual purpose secretaire. 4 tables of which 2 arc in cherrywood and one folding table, one tilting table and one table en corbcille. altogether 233L

19) 2 large bookcase carcases with 3 doors each and veneered

in kingwood and tulipwood. one old bookcase in amaranth with brass (lutings, one secretaire cn pente with armoire in amaranth, one small armoire in coloured wood and one small bureau with gradin. altogether 672L

20) 4 commode carcases, veneered in tulipwood. in different sizes, of which one has its mounts, one encoignure in cherrywood with gradin. 2 chests in walnut, altogether 193L

21) 5 bureaux in coloured wood, one of 6 picds in length with its serre-papiers and stand, one of S’/г picds with its caisson, another of 5 pieds and 2 of А’/г pieds without any mounts, altogether 4501.

22) Л number of pieces of Chinese lacquer as well as tulipwood in sheets weighing 35 livres. 4 marble slabs finished for use as consoles, one old black reading stand and 2 bidet syringes, altogether 305L

23) 3 commodes in walnut. 11 reading stands and adjustable candle-holders, altogether 901.

24) 5 walnut bedside-tables with marble tops. 12 bidets of which 2 are covered in morocco.

7 commode chairs in cherrywood. one walnut chair covered in morocoo. 16 cherrywood tables for writing and 2 secretaires en pente in walnut, one small table in coloured wood, with one table en vide-poche. altogether 340L

25) 2 four-leaved wooden screens. 6 wooden fire-screens, one triangular table, 2 tables de tri. one toilet-table and one demi-toilette. 2 toilet-tables. 6 other tables, one black with screen and one a limagon. altogether 97 L

26) 6 pieces of mahogany and 7 pieces of various exotic woods, altogether 4071.

271 69 cords of oak. altogether 75L

281 Approximately 1.328 livres of tulipwood. kingwood and ebony, altogether 4961.

29) Approximately 30 livres weight of amaranth and other wood from India. 36L

30) 66 pairs of brass comets and 64 bowls altogether 76L

31) One З-foot commode in walnut without mounts. 181.

32) One commode carcase of 5 pieds in kingwood 200L

33) One unfinished commode of 5 pieds in oak. 48L

34) One kingwood and tulipwood secretaire partly finished 72L

35) One carcase of a small bureau, 3 serre-papiers and 2 stands for serre-papiers and other half-finished carcases, altogether 421.

36) A number of off-cuts of different thicknesses, altogether 121.

37) 4 work benches together with their tools. 3 saws к presse. 9 hand-saws, one vice. 6 clamps. 6 jointers’ cramps and 2 pots of glue, altogether 961.

1218] Commode attributed to Mdcret, с. 1770, stamped by Lutz who must have made the carcase; the panels of lacquered tole are probably the work of Samousseau, who in 1767 had patented a process of lacquering on metal. IGalerie Segoura, Paris)

Pierre