Cartonnier with Bout de Bureau and Clock

Object Details


Cartonnier with Bout de Bureau and Clock


Bernard II van Risenburgh (French, after 1696 - about 1766, master before 1730)

movement by Étienne Le Noir II (French, 1699 - 1778, master 1717)

face painted by Jacques Decla (French, died after 1764, active by 1742)




Paris, France (Place created)


cabinet about 1740; clock 1746


Oak and poplar veneered with alder, amaranth, and cherry and painted with vernis Martin; painted bronze figures; gilt-bronze mounts; enameled metal clock dial; glass


192.1 x 103 x 41 cm (75 5/8 x 40 9/16 x 16 1/8 in.)

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This piece of mid-eighteenth-century furniture was meant to be used like a modern filing cabinet: papers were placed in leather-fronted cardboard boxes (now missing) that were fitted into the open shelves. A large table decorated in the same manner would have been placed in front for working with those papers. Access to the cartonnier's lower half can only be gained by the doors at the sides, because the table would have blocked the front.

The painted black-and-gold decoration is commonly known as vernis Martin, named after the Martin brothers, Parisians who excelled at the craft of imitating Japanese lacquer. Their workshop probably also supplied the bronze Chinese figures flanking and surmounting above the clock.