Born around 1735. Topino worked for a long time as an independent craftsman before being received master in 1773. Settled in the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, he specialized in pieces of light furniture, small tables, bonheurs-du-jour and chiffonnieres. and perfected a type of bonheur-du- jour of oval form for which he seems to have had the monopoly. The marquetry decoration which is the chief attraction of these pieces consists of two types: — Still-lifes with teapots, vases and various utensils in chinoiserie taste, derived from motifs on Coroman­del lacquer screens. These would seem to have l>een very fashionable between 1770 and 1775.

— Garlands and bouquets of flowers highlighted on a ground of pale wood, citronnier or yellow-stained maplewood, found on furniture between 1775 and 1780.

Among his clientele he counted members of the French aristocracy, but above all his colleagues the marchands-ebenistes Hericourt, Dautriche. Migeon. Denizot. Moreau. Delorme. Tuart and Boudin. For the latter he made light tables in lacquer or marquetry and bonheurs-du-jour. Topino’s day-book preserved in the Archives de la Seine contains orders from all these marchands-ebenistes. and makes clear that Topino sold marquetry panels to his colleagues. Topino also worked for Joubert. The description of a

/3611 Secretaire a abattant stamped Topino. с. 1780; the floral marquetry stands out on a ground of stippled light-coloured wood. tChristie’s London, 3July 1986, lot 1171

small bonheur-du-jour delivered by the latter in June 1774 gives the unmistakable impression of a piece of furniture by Topino (see Appendix).

The gilt-bronze mounts with which Topino embel­lished his furniture were cast by Viret. chased by Chamboin and Dubuisson, and gilded by Becard, Gerard and Vallet.

In 1782 Topino was elected deputy of his guild, a measure of the esteem in which he was held. Never­theless. his finances were, according to Salverte, in the greatest disorder, a chronic state of affairs exacerbated by the Revolution, so that in December 1789 he was declared bankrupt.


Journal dii (iardc-Nlcublc Royal (Arch. Nat. o’.U19). delivery by Joubert on 1 June 1771: No. 27M: For the use of M. le (’.omte d’Artois at die (’.bateau de ( ’.ompiegne A small jewel secretaire in tuli|>wood decorated with Isaskct – of flowers, fruits and Іеа-сіцл in the (Chinese style, all in mar<|uetiy. on l>oth skies over the table a small door with a key. with a drawer inskle. Between the two doors is a third drawer; at the front there is a slide covered in blue moire boniered with narrow silver braid, with a 13631 (right) Commode in ІиІірихянІ stamped Topino, of a type which he repeated several times. I Archives Calerie Fabre, Parisl
compartment on the right for an inkwell, powder-box and sponge container in silvered brass The secretaire is cmlx-llishcd above ami below with a balustrade in (Classical C Jrcek style an<l other ornaments in chased ami richly – gilt bronze. Length 24 polices. Depth; 15 pooces Height 3 pteds 2 pooces

13641 Ox-low left) Oval bonheur-du-jour stamped Topino, с. 1775, with marquetry of teapots and ware of Chinese taste. ISotheby’s London. 23 June 19851 (3651 (below right) Bonheur – du-jour attributed to Topino, c. 1775, the marquetry with ivises and other ware of Chinese taste, on a tulipuvod ground. iSotheby’s Monaco, 26 May 1980, kt 6971