- C. Huchet de Quénetain, Pierre Garnier, Paris, 2003, pp. 33, 36, 109-113
Pierre Garnier (1726 / 1727-1806) son of the cabinetmaker François Garnier, became a master cabinetmaker at the age of sixteen. After modest beginnings, producing furniture in the rocaille taste, he settled on rue Neuve-des-Petits-Champs and achieved great success after April 1760 as a pioneer of neoclassical cabinetmaking. His clients promoted this new style, which was more gentle than the earlier la grecque style. They included the Marquis de Marigny, Directeur général des Bâtiments du roi and brother of the Marquise de Pompadour, the d’Orléans family, the Duchess of Mazarin and Charles XIII, King of Sweden, who bought two commodes from Pierre Garnier in 1770, during a visit to Paris.
His success necessitated the support of his colleagues, which explains the existence of double stamps on some of his furniture. The stamp most often found alongside his is that of Bon Durand (B.DURAND), present on much of the furniture delivered around 1771-1772 for Marshal Contades at the Castle Montgeoffroy. The records of Durand attest to a close collaboration over a period of at least nine years, and particular characteristics are recognizable on certain pieces of furniture made by these two cabinetmakers. This is particularly the case with the present commode which is very similar to another stamped by Durand, also veneered in satinwood and amaranth and dated 1770-1775 (C. Huchet de Quénetain, 33, cat 200). Three other commodes stamped Garnier form a coherent set: two are veneered with satinwood and amaranth (one bearing the double stamp of Garnier and Durand, ibid., P.36, cat.199), and a third, with a Sainte-Anne grey marble top is veneered with rosewood, satinwood, (op cit, p 110, not ill.). Representative of the work of Pierre Garnier, these five commodes boasting elegant and sober lines, perfectly illustrate the triumphant neoclassicism between 1770 and 1780.
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