Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Drop-front desk (secrétaire à abattant or secrétaire en cabinet)

Maker:
Attributed to Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix (French, 1727–1799)
Factory:
Porcelain plaques by Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)
Date:
porcelain ca. 1764, secretary ca. 1775
Culture:
French, Paris and Sèvres
Medium:
Oak veneered with satin-wood, green and black-stained wood; gilt bronze, marble, soft-paste porcelain, silk
Dimensions:
Overall: 50 1/2 × 33 5/8 × 14 in. (128.3 × 85.4 × 35.6 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958
Accession Number:
58.75.52
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 529
Several related secretaries are known that have either a porcelain plaque or a marquetry roundel on the fall front and are signed or attributed to Roger Vandercruse. The son of a Flemish cabinetmaker, Vandercruse also used the French equivalent of his name, Lacroix. Typical of his oeuvre is the colorful cornflower and latticework marquetry. The decoration of the large Sèvres plaque, with its geometric pattern of ribbons and shells interspersed with diapered cartouches and garlands, is similar to that of useful wares, and thought to date to about 1764. Antedating the secretary by a decade, it may originally have been intended as the top for a small table. The maltese cross at the center of the plaque alludes to a special commission.
Marking: Unmarked
Sir Charles Mills, Baronet ; The Lords Hillingdon , London ; The Samuel H. Kress Foundation (until 1958; to MMA)
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