Desk (bonheur du jour)

Attributed to Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix French

Not on view

Small elegant pieces like this ladies’ writing desk with superstructure became fashionable in France during the 1760s. Known as a bonheur du jour, this type of furniture which combines the functions of a bureau and a secrétaire illustrates the popularity of letter writing in the ancien Régime. Most likely invented by the Paris marchands merciers or luxury dealers who acted as designers and interior decorators, the bonheur du jour remained in fashion until the end of the eighteenth century. Although this writing desk is not stamped, it has been attributed to Roger Van der Cruse, also called Lacroix, based on similar pieces signed by this originally Flemish cabinetmaker. Most of the surface displays marquetry of floral sprigs, while the open shelves on either end for the display of precious objects such as snuffboxes or porcelain, are embellished with a striped pattern. The finished backside indicates that this writing desk was not intended to stand against the wall but could be placed in the center of the room.

Desk (bonheur du jour), Attributed to Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix (French, 1727–1799), Satinwood, tulipwood, black and green stained wood on oak; gilt bronze, French, Paris

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