Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1951.
1951 - 1965
J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965.
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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S109
Jacques Dubois (French, 1694 - 1763, master 1742)
Paris, France (Place Created)
White oak and sycamore maple veneered with panels of red Chinese lacquer on Japanese arborvitae and painted with European lacquer; interior drawers of sycamore maple and Japanese arborvitae; gilt-bronze mounts; brass and iron hardware and locks; brèche d'Alep top; replacement silk velvet and trim
102.8 × 114.3 × 38.4 cm (40 1/2 × 45 × 15 1/8 in.)
Gift of J. Paul Getty
The fall front on the upper section of this secrétaire lowers on hinges to reveal a central open pigeon hole flanked by drawers, with a large open compartment above. The interior behind the large double doors below is divided in half by a shelf with the lower half further divided into two by a vertical partition.
The front and sides of the secrétaire are each veneered with a single panel of red Asian lacquer, the panel on the front having been cut into three pieces to form the fall front and the doors. The remaining exterior surfaces and the entire interior are decorated with red European lacquer.
Traditionally Parisian secretaries produced during the 1700s are of greater height than width, but this piece is an exception. It was evidently custom made to fit the large panel of Asian lacquer forming the front. This panel shows Europeans – depicted wearing distinctive jackets, breeches, and hats – hunting deer in front of a large building with Asian architectural features. The figures are probably meant to represent members of the Dutch East India Company, the primary European merchants operating in eastern Asia during the 1600s, and the panel may have been made especially for export to Europe.
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