The first mention of a ‘bureau’ delivered to the Court appears in 1669 in the accounts of the Menus Plaisirs. It was in cedar, made by Gole. who went on to make more than twenty-five bureaux of various kinds for the Court, of a type known since the nineteenth century as a ‘bureau Mazarin’ (although the prototype only appeared after the Cardinal’s death). Gole would seem by all accounts to have invented the bureau Mazarin which generally consisted of six drawers placed on either side of a central recess, sometimes fitted with a cupboard, supported on six or eight columnar legs or carved wooden gilded or silvered terms. The only piece of furniture of this type identifiable today is a small desk in the Duke of Buccleuch’s collection at Boughton House. Northamptonshire (3j which was certainly made for Versailles in 1672. The top of this bureau is ’brise’ (broken), folding in half while the fronts of the upper drawers form a fall-front, revealing
a work surface which could be easily closed when required. This bureau a brisure’, of a type frequently mentioned in Louis XIV’s inventories, without doubt represents the first evolutionary stage in the development of the bureau Mazarin, the forerunner of the secretaires.