The J. Paul Getty Museum

Bureau Plat

Object Details


Bureau Plat


Jean-Henri Riesener (French, 1734 - 1806, master 1768, fournisseur du garde-meuble royal 1774 - 1784)




Paris, France (Place Created)




Oak and fir veneered with bloodwood, amaranth and stained maple; gilt-bronze mounts; modern leather top

Object Number:



74.9 × 135.9 × 70.8 cm (29 1/2 × 53 1/2 × 27 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

This desk was ordered by Marie-Antoinette for her husband, King Louis XVI. Made by her preferred cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener in 1777, it was sold during the French Revolution and remained in private hands until purchased by J. Paul Getty in 1971. Since 2001, the desk has been on long-term loan to Versailles, where it is displayed in the room for which it was made in the Petit Trianon, a mansion that served as a private retreat for the royal family on the grounds of Versailles.

1777 - before 1784

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (Petit Trianon, Versailles, France), ordered by Marie-Antoinette for the cabinet of Louis XVI in the Petit Trianon and delivered on August 6, 1777, transferred to the queen's personal garde-meuble by 1784.

by 1784 - 1792

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Reine (Petit Trianon, Versailles, France), nationalized by the revolutionary government in 1792.

1792 - 1793 or 1794

French government, Convention Nationale, Garde-Meuble National, auctioned between August 25, 1793 and August 11, 1794, as no. 828, sold for 600 livres to Dumon or Dumont

1793 or 1794 -
1967 - 1971

Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd., Founded 1902 (London, England), sold through French and Company to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

The J. Paul Getty Collection (June 29 to September 3, 1972)
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), June 29 to September 3, 1972
The J. Paul Getty Collection of French Decorative Arts (October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973

The J. Paul Getty Collection, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1972), unpaginated, no. 61, ill. 56.

Sherrill, Sarah. "Current and Coming." The Magazine Antiques (January 1974), p. 14, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 142, 165, 174, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum, 7ème partie: Le Mobilier Louis XVI." Connaissance des arts 280 (June 1975), p. 94, ill.

Frel, Jiri, Burton B. Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 83-84, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 80, no. 106.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), pp. 114-15, ill.

Baulez, Christian and Denise Ledoux-Lebard. Il mobile francese: dal Luigi XVI all'Art Déco (Milan: Fabbri, 1981), pp. 12, 24-25, 27, fig. 12.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 33, no. 71.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), p. 712.

Prevost-Marcilhacy, Laurent. "Les grands collections anglaises de meubles royaux français au XIXe siècle." De Versailles à Paris: Le Destin des collections royales edited by Jacques Charles (Paris: Centre culturel du Panthéon, 1989), pp. 190-191, ill.

Verlet, Pierre. Le mobilier royal français. Vol. 4, Meubles de la couronne conservés en Europe et aux États-Unis (Paris: Picard, 1990), pp. 11, 80-182, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), pp.57-58, no. 77.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 41, no. 73.

Wilson, Gillian. "Versailles au J. Paul Getty Museum." Versalia, Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles 5 (2002), p. 98, figs. 6-7.