PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR
with a rectangular gilt-bronze banded leather inset top with canted corners above a recessed sloping fronted central drawer flanked by a drawer on either side with gilt-bronze banding, foliate cast handles and escutcheons, opposing dummy drawers, the shaped frieze applied with a gilt-bronze rosette, the sides centred by a female espagnolette mask, the knees with a bearded male mask in a feathered headdress, on cabriole legs and hoof feet; mounts regilt
Jean-Dominique Augarde, Etienne Doirat, Menusier en Ebène, The J Paul Getty Museum, Journal, Vol. XIII, 1985, (Acquisions 1984) pp. 33-52.
Alexandre Pradère, French Furniture Makers, The Art of the Ebéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, Tours, 1989, pp. 121-123.
Doirat was, together with Cressent and Gaudreaus, one of the most important of the Régence ébénistes and the only one who used to stamp his production, which is usually made in palisander wood with a distinctive diamond-shaped parquetry and more rarely in amaranth and kingwood as on the present impressive example.
When his pieces cannot be identified by a stamp, the mounts, peculiar to his pieces usually leave no doubt of their authorship. The same gilt-bronze mounts were repeated on his furniture and from the bills, he appears to have had a stock repertoire of mounts. His inventory in 1732 lists,` 100 livres weight of imperfect lead casts used for garnitures for commodes and other furniture and then 250 livres of mounts, either chased or unchased, repaired for garnitures for commodes and other pieces'. This would seem to indicate that he kept control of his bronze casts, although not exclusively as Augarde, op. cit., p. 36, states that four fondeurs are referred to in the inventory of the business after Doirat's death: Julien Boucher and Pierre Marchand -the latter a creditor for 1219 livres and Jacques Guinand and Couteux for 43 and 26 livres respectively.
A related bureau plat attributed to Doirat was offered for sale Sotheby's, Paris, 17th December 2002, lot 33.
Etienne Doirat received Master 1732.
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