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Cartonnier with Bout de Bureau and Clock
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Stamped by Bernard van Risenburgh, furniture worker; movement by Étienne Le Noir, clockmaker; face by Jacques Decla, enameler
French, Paris, about 1740; clock, 1746
Oak veneered with alder and painted with vernis Martin; painted bronze figures; gilt bronze mounts; enameled metal clock dial; glass
6 ft. 3 5/8 in. x 3 ft. 4 9/16 in. x 1 ft. 4 1/8 in.
83.DA.280

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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.

Detail Views

Signature on the movement
Signature on the movement

"BVRB" stamp
"BVRB" stamp

Signature on reverse of dial
Signature on reverse of dial


Other Views

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Side