Furniture and Antique

Secrétaire

Joseph Baumhauer
 ? - Paris, 1772

Around 1765, rosewood and amaranth topped by a clock in bronze, 220 x 99 x 42 cm
Tapestry Room

Edouard André placed this piece of furniture in a space usually reserved for first-rate items. Due to the unusual nature of the item, a secretaire mounted on a solid base, specialists initially thought that it was a late reconstruction that could have deceived the fine connoisseur who was master of the house. Yet the bronze decoration is stamped with the crowned C, a mark of authenticity, at least for the decoration. The discovery of a stamp on the back of the secretaire served to reassure those who still had doubts. But it is primarily the stamp of a marquetry desk formed from the same essence, and with a bronze décor identical to that of the secretaire which allowed experts to understand how the whole unit looked originally: a desk-filing cabinet with a vertical element that could be exceptionally separated from its table.

The secretaire-filing cabinet is characteristic of the transition from the Louis XV to the Louis XVI style. Joseph Baumhauer, known as “Joseph” is represented in the Jacquemart-André collection by another exceptional piece, a commode decorating the Study, which is fully in the rocaille style, that is to say several years prior to the item of furniture installed in the Tapestry Room.

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