The shaped top inlaid with geometric parquetry, centered by a cartouche with crest, with gilt-tooled leather inset writing slide, raised on cabriole legs
2734 in. (70.5 cm.) high, 2514 in. (64 cm.) wide, 1638 in. (42 cm.) deep
Presumably commissioned to celebrate the marriage of a duc de la Rochefoucauld.
Acquired from Gerald Kerin in the late 1940s.
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Lot Essay

Roger van der Cruse, known as Lacroix, maître in 1755.

The coat-of-arms on this table remains tantalisingly unidentified: it records a marriage between a duc de la Rochefoucauld and an unidentified lady. It may conceivably either celebrate this union, or the birth of an heir. Interestingly François-Alexandre-Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt (d. 1827), was born in 1747 and subsequently succeeded his father as Grand Maître de la garde robe du roi in 1783.

Although unstamped, this table à écrire can probably be attributed to Roger van der Cruse, known as Lacroix (maître in 1755). Through his marriage to Jeanne Prograin in 1750, RVLC became the brother-in-law of the ébéniste Jean-François Oeben (maître in 1761) and the close stylistic affinities between their oeuvres suggests that the two frequently collaborated. In the design of the top, with its stylized cartouche and bois de boût marquetry foliate tendrils, this table is clearly indebted to Oeben and relates, for instance, to two tables mécaniques by the latter in the Louvre (D. Alcouffe et al., Furniture Collections in the Louvre, Dijon, 1993, vol. I, no. 53, pp. 176-179 and no. 54, pp. 180-2). A further related table also in the Louvre (no. 86, p. 268), supplied by the fournisseur de la Cour Gilles Joubert on 4 September 1770 in a retardataire style for Madame Victoire's use at Fontainebleau, was, interestingly, probably subcontracted by Joubert to RVLC.

The same angle mounts that feature on this table can be seen on the table from the Wrightsman Collection stamped by RVLC, discussed in F. J. B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol. II, no.155. This latter table also shares the double border of the trapezoid cartecouche, which is of different character to the oeuvre of both Oeben and BVRB.

Another possibility is Gaspard Feilt, who stamped a very similar table sold from the collection of Mme. X, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 22 May 1911, lot 67.

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