A magnificent French 18th century Louis XVI period Bureau Plat by Master Ébéniste Pierre Garnier. The desk is raised on impressive tapered legs with ormolu finely chased sabots and reeded chandelles and top rosette. At the front are three remarkable drawers of kingwood with inlaid marquetry of tulipwood and charmwood that is repeated on the sides. Each drawer is decorated with exceptional ormolu mounts, finely chased keyhole escutcheons and swaging garland shaped handles. At each corner are superb ormolu mounts of geometric shaped with foliate and rosette accents. All below the dark green gilt tooled leather writing surface and ormolu gallery. All original gilt and patina throughout.
Pierre Garnier (≈1726-1806) Master Ébéniste
The son of an ébéniste , Pierre Garnier was one of the pioneers of the Neoclassical style in furniture. As early as 1761, when other cabinetmakers were still creating furniture in the Rococo style with floral marquetry and curvilinear gilt bronze mounts, Garnier produced furniture based on architectural forms decorated with parquetry and motifs drawn from the architecture of classical antiquity such as swags, rosettes, Greek key patterns, and fluting. The straight lines and sharp corners of the mounts emphasized the geometric furniture forms and the geometric patterns echoed in the grain of the carefully chosen woods, especially darker woods like mahogany and kingwood. Garnier worked mainly for important clients who shared his avant-garde tastes. Among them was the marquis de Marigny, minister of arts under Louis XV, and brother of Madame de Pompadour. Marigny, a key supporter of the emerging Neoclassical style, ordered Garnier to supply him with furniture for his house in Paris and his château in the country. Letters between Marigny and the ébéniste indicate that Garnier made and owned his own models for the gilt bronze mounts used on his furniture, an unusual practice and one that broke strict guild regulations.