We have restored furniture pieces that were stamped by prestigious French cabinetmakers from the 17th and 18th centuries. As a sign of this, we have traced in a paper the stamp of some restored furniture made by them in the past. You can learn about these famous wood artisans here.
Jacques DUBOIS (1694-1763)
Jacques Dubois was related to an important family of ébénistes. Thus, he was the half-brother of Noël Gérard, one of the most important ébénistes and dealers between 1720 and 1730. Dubois worked as an independent artisan in the famous Faubourg Saint-Antoine, but he did not become a master until very late in his career. The presence of a commode by Dubois in the Royal Palace at Genoa is proof that he was one of the suppliers to Madame Louise-Élizabeth, daughter of Louis XV of France. He produced luxury furniture, mainly secretaries and bureaux in Chinese and Japanese lacquer, but he also made commodes which were slightly bombé. His production is characterized by very distinctive and graceful designs of marquetry.
Jacques BIRCKLÉ (1734-1803)
After being working in the well-known Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Bircklé became a master in 1764. Then, he began working for the Garde-Meuble Royal of Louis XVI in 1785. He was an active and careful craftsman who supplied to diverse members of the Royal Family with different furniture pieces, including sécretaires, writing-tables, commodes and small guéridons. For instance, Bircklé supplied with commodes to the Queen’s apartments at Saint-Cloud and he worked actively in the furnishing of the Madame Pavilion at Grand-Montreuil castle in Versailles.
Georges JACOB (1739–1814)
Georges Jacob was one of the most famous ébéniste and chair-maker during the kingdom of Louis XVI. He received his mastership in 1765. He received orders from the Garde-Meuble Royal from 1773. During this period, he was working not only as ébéniste, but also as restorator for the Garde-Meuble for which he restored furniture by André-Charles Boulle. Due to his highly valuable creativity and delicacy, it is believed that Jacob was learning in the workshop of Louis Delanois, the most important chair-maker of Louis XVI. Jacob made numerous furniture pieces for Marie-Antoinette, who considered Jacob as a very talented and innovated cabinet-maker. The most precious works were done for the Queen’s boudoir in Versailles. He also furnished diverse important houses, such as the Palais du Temple, the Château de Saint-Gérmain, the Château de Chantilly and the Château de Vilgénis, among others.
Léonard BOUDIN (1735-1807)
In the beginning of his career Boudin was an independent artisan in the renowned Faubourg Saint-Antoine and was supplying furniture in floral marquetry and chinoiserie lacquer to Migeon, Gérard Péridiez and Louis Moreau. He obtained his mastership in 1761 and became an artisan of repute, delivering furniture for the palaces of the Comté de Provence at Compèigne and the Palace of Fontainebleau. His most important pieces were woman’s bureau, sécrétaires and elegant commdes galbé. In the following years, Boudin became a marchand-ébéniste and he commissioned furniture from important cabinet-makers, including Gilbert, Bircklé and Foullet.
François MONDON (1694-1770)
During the period that Mondon was working at the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, he sold part of his production to other ébénistes such as Migeon. It is believed that he used the stamp F.M.D. at the beginning of his career, but later he changed the stamp by his surname ‘Mondon’. Thus, some Régence styled furniture of fine quality, which is stamped with F.M.D. has been attributed to Mondon. His son, François-Antoine Mondon, started the training in his father’s workshop and became master in 1757. An interesting work made by him is a commode of ‘Greek style’ combining rococo forms with gilt-bronze mounts in Neo-classical style.
Adrien-Antoine GOSSELIN (1753-????)
Adrien-Antoine Gosselin was the eldest son of Antoine Gosselin, who owned a very creative and innovative workshop in the celebrated Faubourg Saint-Antoine and was cited with honors in the prestigious ‘L’almanach général des Marchands du Royaume’. Adrien-Antoine achieved his mastership in 1772 and he left very early Paris to live in Versailles. Madame Adélaïde ordered him important furniture for her service. In addition, he was working for the Royal Garde-Meuble, producing numerous pieces of furniture for both the Versailles and Saint-Cloud castles. Gosselin produced some other furniture for Mesieur de Calonne and M. Necker.
Pierre ROUSSEL (1723-1782)
Pierre was the son of an ébéniste, Michel Roussel. During the 1760s his career prospered and he was considered one of the finest ébénistes of his period. Between 1775 and 1780 he worked for the Prince de Condé whom he supplied with precious furniture for the Palais-Bourbon and the castle at Chantilly. The inventory of his workshop that was made after his death revealed a very large stock, indicating that it was a workshop in full production. The inventory comprised nearly 250 pieces, including commodes, encoignures, dining-tables and game-tables. Most of the furniture was in marquetry, several with star-shape veneer and many pieces were in lacquer. Roussel’s workshop also supplied furniture to the Royal Garde-Meuble.
Jacques-Pierre LETELLIER (1745-1767)
He was working for more than 20 years after obtaining the mastership in ébénisterie in 1747. He stamped nice works in pattern marquetry. One of his relevant works belonged to the old furniture of the castle at Mérantais nearby Versailles.
André-Antoine LARDIN (1724-1790)
He was a very prolific and high quality ébéniste who achieved the mastership in 1750. He worked actively for the furniture trade. His stamp is very singular because it is composed of big letters. After his death, his remaining stock comprised a large number of very important pieces of furniture. His considerable production included secrétaires, bureau and small tables. Lardin also produced commodes in the classical Louis XVI style, such as the one ornamented with bois de rose panels and borders ‘A la Grecque’ at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. His work is generally ornamented with butterfly wing-shaped panels and marquetry flowers, birds and thophies.
Jean-Baptiste VASSOU (1739-1807)
Vassou was appointed a maître-ébéniste in 1767. He supplied many marchands with ‘commodes en sécrétaire’ as well as stools ‘d’aisance’ which imitated very nicely a book in four volumes. Vassou’s two sons, both established in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine followed his trade during the Napoleon’s French Consulate as well as the First French Empire.
Claude-Charles SAUNIER (1735-1807)
Claude-Charles obtained his mastership in 1752, but he did not register it until 1765 to follow his father’s work. He conserved the parent’s workshop which was very successful during his period. This ébéniste is characterized by the finest quality of his works of art. His earlier work is still of Louis XV style, such as a valuable bureau ornamented with painted porcelains which Lady Carnarvon inherited from the collection of Alfred de Rotchschild. However, Saunier was soon inspired by the classic art, producing valuable and elegant pieces that are considered as master-pieces of the French ébénisterie nowadays.
Philippe-Joseph PLUVINET (????-1793)
Pluvinet was a carpenter from Paris that obtained the mastership as ébéniste in 1754. During his period, he was considered as a very talented artisan due to the production of numerous luxury chairs. Pluvinet stamped pieces of an excellent execution. One of his most relevant pieces was a great bérgeres that he made during the kingdom of Louis XVI, which is currently conserved in the ‘Mobilier National’ in France. Some other important pieces of art were part of the currently inexistent private collection of Viscount of Froissard-Brossia and the old furniture of Madame la duchesse d’Avaray in the Mareil-le-Guyon castle. An important set of dining-room furniture formed by 31 pieces is owned by the Marquis of Saint-Genys in his castle (La Lorie).
Jean-Baptiste HÉDOUIN (????-1783)
Hédouin was a skillful and laborious ébéniste who got the mastership in 1738. He stamped furniture made in marquetry, such us beautiful commodes and sécrétaires.
François Reuze (1716-1799)
François Reuze was the son of the carpenter Pierre Reuze, who was nominated master in 1743 and worked for more than fifty years. This artisan was honored to provide the seat furniture for the Royal Court, notably for the Queen Marie Antoinette, and also supplied seat furniture to the royal Swedish court. His work during the period of Louis XV consisted of original ornaments sometimes. The double C-scrolls on the seat rails are characteristic of Reuze’s production.
Reference: Les Ébénistes du XVIIIe Siècle – Leurs Oeuvres et Leurs Marques. Comte François de Salverte. Sixième edition. 365 p. F. De Nobele, Paris, 1975. ISBN 2-85189-04-2