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Rolltop or cylinder desk

Date: 1767-1770
Dimensions:
39 x 38 x 21 in. (99.1 x 96.5 x 53.3 cm.)
Medium: oak, walnut, and beech carcase veneered with tulipwood and marquetry of barberry, sycamore, pearwood, and maple, stained bird's-eye maple, holly, or pearwood, and stained and natural-colored boxwood, set in a ground of stained curly sycamore; secondary surfaces veneered with mahogany and purplewood; soft-paste porcelain plaques; gilt-bronze mounds; red velvet writing surface; drawer linings of watered (moire) silk and gold brocade; writing accessories of silvered bronze and glass; mechanical hardware of iron.
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection.
Marks: Marks on the woodwork: Stamped inside, at the back of the writing shelf, J.F. LELEU and JME. A paper tariff label issued at Saint-Lazare Station in Paris is pasted onto the underside of the center bottom board. A paper label, pasted on the underside of the proper left bottom board is inked, N°.17. Marks on the twenty-six porcelain plaques: Of the twenty plaques removed for examination, all but three are marked on their backs with the crossed L's of the Sèvres Manufactory, and fifteen of the plaques are also marked with the date letter, o. Two plaques bear Levé's mark, the letter L; six plaques bear Méreaud's mark, a comma; four plaques bear Noël's mark, __ ; two plaques bear Joffroy's mark, the letter p.
Object Number: 27.128
Label Text:Jean-François Leleu was apprenticed to the famous royal cabinet-maker, Jean-François Oeben. He worked for members of the aristocracy, such as the prince de Condé at the Château of Chantilly. This is an early example of a piece of furniture set with porcelain plaques, a style which became fashionable in Paris in the 1770s and 80s. The plaques were specially commissioned for the desk from the Sèvres Manufactory.