The appointment of Abel-François Poisson de Vandières, Marquis de Marigny et de Ménars, as the Directeur des Bâtiments du Roi in 1751 was accompanied by a residency at a townhouse located at 16 rue Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre, across from the Pavillon de l'Horloge. As the brother of the official mistress, he benefitted greatly from the Royal favour. The "Minister of the Arts", as his protégé François Boucher nicknamed him, soon became one of promoters of the Greek Revival style, opting for the decor of his hôtel particulier to have lacquer, ebony and mahogany.
To accompany him in this venture, Marigny chose the cabinetmaker Pierre Garnier whose production perfectly embodied the Greek taste. Throughout their business relationship, from 1766 to 1779, the two men exchanged substantial correspondence. Cited by Alexandre Pradère in "Boulle, du Louis XIV sous Louis XVI" in L'Objet d'Art, June 1987, a letter by Marigny to Garnier states in 1779 his inclination for dark furniture: "I agree with you that the mahogany works are more solid and the ebony ones, which can only be produced as veneer, are subject to accident but you will agree with me (...) that the ebony and bronze furniture is much more noble than the mahogany furniture". A letter from the Minister to his supplier, dated 17 November 1779, opens a hypothesis for the provenance of these meubles d'appui: "For the two trumeaux, you will make me two mahogany armoires [...] which will not have more depth than the two armoires in ebony that you made me for my study at Place du Louvre "(see C. Huchet de Quénetain, op. cit., p. 45 and 172). It was probably for the study on the townhouse's first floor.
After 1778, Marigny devoted himself to the decoration of his new hôtel particulier called Hôtel de Ménars, on Place des Victoires. Part of the hôtel particulier furniture at the Place du Louvre was sold to its new resident the Swedish Ambassador, Comte de Creutz, but some objects were moved to Place des Victoires. The small gallery on the garden wing's ground floor of the Ménars town house, also known as the billiard room, had three ebony armoire lower sections that appeared in Marigny's postmortem inventory - " 232. Three armoires of different heights, veneered with ebony wood with copper elements and a marble top, 144 L" - and which could correspond to our meubles d'appui (see A. Pradère, op. cit., p. 249, and by the same author, "L'Ameublement du marquis de Marigny vers 1780", in L'Estampille, no. 193, June 1986, p. 55).
Marigny died in 1781. The auction catalogue of his property in 1782 is not detailed enough to note the citations of meubles d'appui, only the lacquer and Boulle marquetry items were described with precision. On the other hand, we find the furniture in the inventory of the famous dealer, Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun during an auction held in his townhouse in Cléry on 29 September 1806, under lot no. 415: "Two furniture pieces each opening with two doors, of ebony, with copper inlaid & moldings, rosace framing, & gilt bronze screw feet; they are adorned with fluted pilasters, in copper & topped with their marble with molding. Total height 30 pouces, width 36 pouces, depth 14 pouces"(see C. Huchet de Quénetain, op. cit., p. 71). A handwritten mention denotes that they were sold to a certain Mr. Lafayance for the amount of 121 French francs.
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