This striking secretaire is a beautiful example of the Early Neoclassical Style a la Grecque which was fashionable between 1765-1770. This style can be seen as a radical departure from the rococo and was introduced by the Architect Charles de Wailly (1730-1798) in the Salon of 1761. He displayed an ormolu-mounted lapis lazuli table and a granite vase both in the gout antique. The first ébéniste to embrace this new style was Pierre Garnier, his furniture emanates strength and power through the sparing use of ornament, often used on a large scale. After Garnier, Roger Vandercruse dit R.V.L.C., Jean François Leleu and Martin Carlin also executed cabinet furniture in this style, which show parallels to the present secretaire. The straight plain framing mounts, turned roundels raised square and Greek key apron mounts can all be seen on a commode by R.V.L.C. sold Christie's London, 19 March 1979, lot 98. This commode also has a similar entrelac frieze mounts. A similar scheme of ormolu mounts can be found on a secretaire a abattant by Leleu, which also has a marble top which is set into an ormolu frame around the top. The large scale marquetry can be found on the work of Martin Carlin such as one sold at Christie's New York, 6 December 1985, lot 12. A secretaire by Carlin decorated with a similar trellis work marquetry - on a smaller scale - has the same characteristic four petal flowerhead as can be found on the present lot.
P. Kjellberg, Le mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1989, p. 163 & 513.
A. Pradère, Die Kunst des Französischen Möbels, München 1990, p.284 (plate 306), p.347 (plate 406), p. 351.