The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details




René Dubois (French, 1737 - 1799, master 1755)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1775


Veneered with kingwood, tulipwood, and lemonwood, incised with colored mastic, set with studs of mother of pearl; gilt bronze mounts

Object Number:



160 × 70.2 × 33.7 cm (63 × 27 5/8 × 13 1/4 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

This secrétaire provided its owner with a display area fitted with glass doors at the top, a writing surface with pigeonholes concealed behind the fall front, and a storage cupboard at the bottom. The delicate, quatrefoil-patterned marquetry with mother-of-pearl inlay and the gilt bronze floral swags mounted at the top of the fall front soften its sharply rectilinear form.

Although this secrétaire bears the stamp of the cabinetmaker Jacques Dubois, it was actually made by his son René. Both the form of the secrétaire and the cupboard with the glass doors above the central section are typical of René's style.

- 1870

Possibly Richard Seymour-Conway, fourth marquess of Hertford, British, 1800 - 1870 (Paris, France)

- 1890

Sir Richard Wallace, British, 1818 - 1890 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Lady Wallace.

1890 - 1897

Julie Amélie Charlotte Castelnau Wallace, French, 1819 - 1897 (Paris, France), by bequest to Sir John Murray Scott.

1897 - 1912

Sir John Murray Scott, British, 1847 - 1912 (5 Connaught Place, London, England), held in trust by his estate.

1912 - 1913

Estate of Sir John Murray Scott, British, 1847 - 1912 (5 Connaught Place, London, England) [sold, French Decorative Objects and Furniture, Porcelain & Tapestry, The Property of Sir John E. A. Murray Scott, Bart., Christie's, London, June 24, 1913, lot 54, for 5,145 pounds to E. M. Hodgkins]

1913 -

Edwin Marriott Hodgkins, British, 1860 - 1932 (London, England)

- 1927

Jacques Seligmann, French, 1858 - 1923 (Paris, France), sold to Henry Walters, 1927.
Source: letters, documents, ledgers, and annotated photographs in the Archives of American Art, Jacques Seligmann & Co. records.

1927 - 1931

Henry Walters, American, 1848 - 1931 (5 East 61st Street, New York, New York), by inheritance to his wife, Sarah (Green) Walters.

1931 - 1941

Sarah (Green) Walters, died 1943 (5 East 61st Street, New York, New York) [sold, The Mrs. Henry Walters Art Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 26, 1941, lot 712, for 4,700 dollars.]

- 1954

Jean Germain Léon Cassel, Baron Cassel, Belgian, 1882 - 1952 (Englewood, New Jersey) and Marij Vincentia Van Doorn, Baronne Cassel van Doorn (Englewood, New Jersey) [sold, Succession du Baron Cassel, Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, March 9, 1954, lot 90, for 2,160,000 francs.]
Note: Baron Cassel was at the 1941 Mrs. Henry Walters sale where this sécretaire was sold; however, documentation of what he bought there has not yet been discovered.


Guedes de Souza, Portuguese, (Paris, France), sold to Frank Partridge & Sons.
Source: conversation with John Partridge, February 28, 1978, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

- 1972

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

"I. Dubois," Connaissance des Arts 31 (September 1954), p. 47, ill.

Nicolay, Jean. L'Art et la manière des maîtres ébénistes français au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Guy Le Prat, 1956), pp. 94, 152, ill.

Watson, F. J. B. Louis XVI Furniture (London: Alec Tiranti Ltd., 1960), p. 122, no. 89, ill.

Frégnac, Claude and Jean Meuvret. Les Ébénistes du XVIIIe siècle français (Paris: Hachette, 1963), p. 221, ill.

Watson, Francis J. B. Le Meuble Louis XVI (Paris: Les Beaux-Arts Éditions d'Études et de Documents, 1963), p. 118, no. 89, ill.

Frégnac, Claude and Jean Meuvret. French Cabinetmakers of the Eighteenth Century (New York: French & European Publications Inc., 1965), p. 221, fig. 3.

Hinckley, F. Lewis. A Directory of Antique French Furniture 1735-1800 (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1967), p. 69, 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), p. 167, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 77, no. 101.

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), p. 123.

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. 21, no. 45.

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), p. 40, no. 48.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs-d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 2, De la Régence à nos jours (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1996), pp. 39, 114, ill.

Hughes, Peter. The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture. 3 vols. (London: Trustees of the Wallace Collection, 1996), vol. 3 (1996), p. 1566, no. 54.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 112, no. 89.

Ramond, Pierre. Masterpieces of Marquetry. Vol. 2, From the Régence to the Present Day (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000), pp. 39, 114, ill.

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. 28, no. 48.