This desk is based on French and English kidney-shaped desks of the late eighteenth century known as “rognon” (kidney) desks; the link to historical precedent would have been obvious— even desirable—to the client who commissioned it: David David-Weill (1871–1952), an Americanborn French financier who worked at Lazard Frères, his family’s bank. A serious art collector, hebequeathed more than two thousand works to French and American museums. His greatest interest lay in the arts of eighteenth-century France, with which he decorated his home. Accordingly, Ruhlmann designed the desk specifically to harmonize with these surroundings, and David-Weill used a Louis XVI armchair with it. The aesthetic elegance, material sumptuousness, and high-quality craftsmanship of Ruhlmann’s furniture hold their own against eighteenthcenturymasterpieces.