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Secrétaire
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Gift of J. Paul Getty
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Attributed to Adam Weisweiler, furniture worker; three plaques gilded by Henry-François Vincent, le jeune, porcelain worker
French, Paris and Sèvres, about 1780 - 1783
Oak veneered with yew and mahogany; five soft-paste Sèvres porcelain plaques; gilt bronze mounts; white marble
H: 48 7/8 x W: 32 1/4 x D: 14 5/8 in.
70.DA.83

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From the 1750s onwards, the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory supplied various marchands-merciers with porcelain plaques that were then incorporated into various forms of furniture and other items. Dealers ordered the plaques directly from Sèvres and then passed them over to ébénistes like Adam Weisweiler with specific orders about the object they should ornament. The marchands could therefore offer their clients considerable choice over the final design. In 1785 Weisweiler became the main supplier of furniture mounted with Sèvres plaques to the dealer Dominique Daguerre.

On this work, the porcelain plaques were probably produced before the final position and form of the secrétaire had been determined. The two oval plaques on each side are painted to be viewed horizontally, but they are mounted vertically, with their groups of musical instruments tilted awkwardly on their sides. This orientation suggests that they were not originally intended to be mounted on the same piece of furniture as the three rectangular plaques set on the front.

Detail Views

Plaque from left side
Plaque from left side

Plaque from right side
Plaque from right side

Wood holes
Wood holes


Other Views

Right side
Right side

Front open
Front open