Of delicate proportions, this secrétaire à abattant executed by Nicolas Petit (1732-1791, maître in 1761) features ribbon-tied musical instruments hung from tasselled drapery above flowering urns, characteristic of the oeuvre of the ébéniste.
Among the related examples of similar proportions by Petit, a secrétaire was sold from the Property of the Late Mrs. A.E. Snapper at Sotheby's, London, 17 March 1961, lot 146, while A. Droguet illustrates a further related example in Nicolas Petit, 1732-1791, Paris, 2001, p. 92.
Erich von Goldschmidt-Rothschild was a member of the Frankfurt Rothschild branch (son of Max Goldschmidt and Minna von Rothschild) and was married to Veronika Henckel von Donnersmarck. Very early on, he decided to leave Germany for safer grounds and sold his collection at auction in Berlin in 1931. His villa in the Tiergarten was sadly destroyed during the war in 1943; however, a few contemporary photographs of the villa's lavish interiors were taken by photographer Martha Huth in 1931, just before Goldschmidt-Rothschild decided to sell the invaluable collection of Dutch paintings and French furniture his father had assembled.