Drop-front desk (secrétaire à abattant or secrétaire en cabinet)

Various artists/makers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 529

This may have been the last piece that Dominique Daguerre (d. 1796), a dealer in luxury goods, delivered to Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793) at the château de Versailles. A porcelain-mounted secretary was, in fact, among the treasured possessions the queen entrusted to Daguerre for safekeeping in October 1789, shortly after a mob invaded the palace and the royal family was forced to return to the château des Tuileries in Paris. Bouillat, one of the best flower painters at Sèvres, may well have painted the beautiful ribbon-tied bouquet on the central plaque. The blue pointillé border was probably the work of Madame Taillandier who, with her husband Vincent, specialized in this decoration. The factory's paper label, printed with the interlaced L's and inscribed with the price (336 lives), is pasted on the back of the rectangular plaque.

#2257. Drop-front Secretary on stand (Secrétaire íæ abattant or secrétaire en cabinet)

Drop-front desk (secrétaire à abattant or secrétaire en cabinet), Attributed to Adam Weisweiler (French, 1744–1820), Oak veneered with burl thuya, amaranth, mahogany, satinwood, holly, and ebonized holly; painted metal; one soft-paste porcelain plaque; fifteen jasper medallions; gilt-bronze mounts; marble; leather (not original), French, Paris and Sèvres

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