IN THE MUSEUMS : Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.

Flat desk – Louis XV era

A rare Louis XV flat desk made with ebony veneer and adorned with chiselled openwork bronze elements.

A similar desk features in one of Louis Tocqué’s paintings (1739) depicting young Louis XV.

Stamped “B.V.R.B” (Bernard II Vanrisamburg). Circa 1745-50

Donated by Mr and Mrs Charles Wrightsman
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.

BVRB was one of the most talented – and most prolific – cabinetmakers in the Louis XV era. As the Garde-Meuble’s main supplier and as a member of the Marchands-Merciers, his pieces were intended for royal residences. This elegant desk is a perfect balance of gilded bronze elements and ebony veneer. The beautiful contrast between the two is a prime example of BVRB’s craftsmanship. This magnificent piece has been a favourite with many art lovers over the years. It was purchased by Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, 3rd Duke of Richelieu, when he was choosing furniture for his castle. It remained in the family estate for a long time. It was then purchased by the baroness Renée de Becker, born Rothschild.