IN THE MUSEUMS : J.Paul Getty Museum 

Marquetry writing table – Louis XV era

Marquetry writing table adorned with chiselled, gilded bronze ornaments

Stamped by J.F. Oeben

Location : J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Table à écrire en marqueterie, estampille de J. F. Oeben, époque Louis XV

This marquetry writing table features a sliding tray with painted leather padding.

A small bronze button on the writing area allows the user to let the leather tray slide in and out of the table and reveals two silk-lined compartments. A gilded bronze frieze runs across the edge of the piece, along with elongated fretwork that reaches down the legs of the table. The marquetry bouquet on the tray is characteristic of Jean-François Oeben’s work. It features tulips and roses wrapped in a banner, with a flower garland at the top, as well as four animals, one in each corner: a lion, a swan, a dove and a salamander; they represent Earth, Water, Air and Fire, respectively.

Jean-François Oebenwas a major 18th century cabinetmaker.
He was appointed royal cabinetmaker in 1754.
His great skill as a marquetry artist and the influence of André-Charles Boulle earned him numerous royal and international commissions.