The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details




Attributed to Martin Carlin (French, born Germany, about 1730 - 1785, master 1766)

Porcelain plaques made at Sèvres Manufactory (French, founded 1756)




Sèvres, France; Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1770; circular plaque 1764


Oak veneered with tulipwood, ebony and holly; white marble lower shelf; set with four soft-paste porcelain plaques with polychrome enamel decoration; gilt-bronze mounts

Object Number:



70.5 × 39.1 cm (27 3/4 × 15 3/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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Object Description

In the early 1760s artisans began to make small round worktables, directed by the marchands-merciers. As they could easily be moved around a room for multiple uses, these items quickly became popular. The porcelain top, which could withstand heated vessels without damage, was ideal for serving tea or coffee. Some tables were even sold with porcelain tea services that matched the decoration of the top.

Parisian marchands-merciers were the first to use Sèvres porcelain plaques in furniture. Creating a work table such as this one was a complicated process involving many stages. First the dealer commissioned a design and ordered plaques from the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. He then selected an ébéniste to make and veneer the carcass of the table, leaving space for the plaques. A variety of craftsmen designed and made the gilt bronze mounts. Another specialized worker lined the drawers with silk. Finally the ébénisteassembled the table and returned it to the dealer to be sold.

The marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre delivered this table to the duchesse de Mazarin in 1779 for her dressing room.

after 1884 - 1918

Alfred (Charles) de Rothschild, 1842 - 1918 (Halton, Buckinghamshire, England), by descent to his daughter, Almina Wombwell.

1918 - 1919

Almina Wombwell, countess Carnarvon, English, 1876 - 1969, sold to Henry Symons and Co., 1919.


Henry Symons and Co. (London, England)


French and Company, Inc. (New York City, New York)

1919 - 1931

Mortimer Leo Schiff, American, 1877 - 1931 (New York City, New York), 1919, by inheritance to his son, John M. Schiff, 1931.

1931 - 1938

John Mortimer Schiff, American, 1904 - 1987 (932 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY) [sold, Fine Decorative Furniture, Important Objects of Art, Tapestry, Sculpture, and Rugs, Being a Part of the Collection Formed by the Late Mortimer L. Schiff, Esq., Christie's, London, June 22, 1938, lot 52, to J. Paul Getty.]

1938 - 1970

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.


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