IN THE MUSEUMS : J.Paul Getty Museum 

Secretaire with tortoiseshell – Louis XVI era (1770–1775).

Secretaire with tortoiseshell, copper, tin and ebony veneering on the doors, adorned with chiselled, gilded bronze ornaments.
Bears the mark of the Jurande “J.M.E” (jury of cabinetmakers). Stamped by Montigny

Origin: Kraemer Gallery
Location: Getty Museum, 1985

This secretaire’s doors feature tortoiseshell, tin and brass veneering. They are adorned with rosettes, leaf-shaped patterns, coiling patterns and netted designs. At the top features a bronze mask embedded in the shape of the sun. There are two cabinet doors at the bottom and a hinged drop leaf at the top. Inside are four small drawers and four shelves in ebony veneering.
The secretaire rests on four spool feet that sit underneath a wide frieze representing leaves and branches inspired by the classical era. Chiselled, gilded bronze ornaments serve as rings around the feet, fretwork, friezes and key plates; they are a testament to the cabinetmaker’s great skill.
Though it was made during Louis XVI’s reign, this secretaire was inspired by the Louis XIV style, which relied heavily on Boulle marquetry. The latter lost its popularity in the middle of the century, but a number of cabinetmakers gave it a new lease of life in the 1770s.
The sides of this piece probably came from the top of a Boulle table, which was cut in half and made to fit this secretaire. It belonged to the Comte de Vaudreuil.