Bernard II van Risen Burgh, maître in 1730.
Based on stylistic analysis, the pair of Machault d'Arnouville encoignures, (along with the commode en suite sold Christie's, Monaco, 19 June, 1999, lot 80) was delivered just after 1750, slightly before Thomas-Joachim Hébert ceased his activities.
The encoignures were purchased by Jean-Baptiste de Machault, probably for his château d'Arnouville. At the time of the Revolution, Jean-Baptiste de Machault was living near his son in Rouen. Ne pouvant plus écrire, ni signé à cause de sa paralysie, he bequeathed several pensions to his servants before dying in the Revolutionary prisons.
An inventory was carried out for the château d'Arnouville in 1795. In the garde-meuble were listed:
767 une commode en laque à dessus de marbre garnie de ses bronzes dorés de quatre pieds et demie de large sur la profondeur ordinaire plus deux encoignures de même laque avec dessus de marbre garnie de ses bronzes dorés, le tout estimé 1200 livres.
In 1798 another inventory mentions:
No 245 une commode de vieux lacque, deux encoignures de vieux lacque avec dessus de marbre d'Italie 600.
The inheritance was left to three children. The eldest, Louis-Charles (1737-1820) became the bishop of Amiens and left his estate to his brother. The second, Armand-Hilaire (1739-1827), comte d'Arnouville, had no children of his own. The entire estate then reverted to the third and youngest son of the Minister, Charles-Henri-Louis (1747-1830) and then to his three children. The estate was then further divided. Geneviève, comtesse de Choiseul d'Aillecourt, received certain pieces of furniture, one of which was a B.V.R.B red lacquer armoire (now in the Musée du château de Versailles, Patiño bequest). Angélique Madeleine, comtesse de Valanglart, received a fine commode in laque de Chine (now in the Metropolitan Museum, Sheafer bequest) and a number of porcelain pieces. The most important parts of the collection passed to the last surviving member of the Machault family, Eugène-Charles (1783-1867). His only daughter Henriette (1808-1864) married Léonce Melchior de Vogüé in 1826.
After her marriage, Henriette installed herself on the second floor of 24 rue de Varenne decorating her rooms in the gout moderne while the apartments of her father on the first floor were furnished with les beaux meubles laissés par le Chancelier de Machault et qui sont aujourd'hui rue Fabert.
At the beginning of this century the Machault name was traditionally attached to the provenance of the commode and the pair of encoignures. They were installed in the hôtel de Vogüé, rue Fabert in the first floor bedroom of Louise de Vogüé, born princesse d'Arenberg and from 1892 the commode and the encoignures were probably displayed in the second floor salon of the same hôtel.
LÉONCE MELCHIOR DE VOGÜÉ
The collection of Léonce Melchior de Vogüé (1805-1877) was formed through several family bequests and complemented by purchased acquisitions. Through his wife, born Henriette de Machault, he inherited an important part of the former collection of de Machault d'Arnouville, Garde des Sceaux, Ministre de la Marine and Contrôleur Général des Finances under Louis XV (1701-1794). Through his mother and especially his great-aunt, the princesse de la Trémoille (1766-1829), he inherited half of the estate of the fermier général Perrinet de Jars and the fortune of the Langeron family. Finally, through his father, he received some of the remains of the fortune of the maréchal de Villars (1653-1734).
Léonce Melchior de Vogüé upon his death in 1877, left his collection to his grandson, Louis de Vogüé. He specified in his will Toute cette collection, provenant de sa famille (of his wife, born Machault) et de la mienne et en particulier celle des meubles de Boulle et porcelaines montées, aura d'autant plus d'intérêt qu'elle restera réunie Elle comprend tous mes meubles de Boulle et de laque, vases montés lustre en cristal de roche...
Louis de Vogüé married the princesse d'Arenberg in 1892.
JEAN-BAPTISTE DE MACHAULT D'ARNOUVILLE
Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville, son of the lieutenant-general of the Paris Police and Vice President of the Grand Conseil (1667-1750), was born in 1701, became maître des requêtes in 1738, and intendant of Hainault. In December 1745, he became Contrôleur Général des Finances and Minister of State in 1749 and finally Garde des Sceaux in 1750. He was eventually appointed Minister of the Navy but was dismissed and exiled on January 31, 1757. In retirement he lived at both Arnouville and his Parisian hôtel. According to Senac de Meilhan, Machault possesed un sens droit et étendu, de l'instruction, un caractère ferme, de la dignité dans les manières et de la probité.
During the Revolution, following the deportation of his son, the Bishop of Amiens, Machault's posessions were seized. He died in prison during the Terror on July 12, 1794.
THE CHÂTEAU D'ARNOUVILLE
Built according to the plans of the architect Contant d'Ivry between 1752 and 1760, the château d'Arnouville and the estate buildings were never finished after Machault's fall from grace. A square layout, the main façade is composed of a raised ground floor with another floor under the attic.
From 1751, according to Argenson, Machault spent des dépenses folles à son château d'Arnouville les Gonesse. It was at the same time that he ordered his furniture from T. J. Hébert. After many family divisions during the 19th century, the château passed to the comte Choiseul d'Aillecourt who then sold it to the baronne Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1872.
THE HÔTEL ON THE RUE FABERT
Léonce Melchior de Vogüé then living on the rue de Lille, decided to find a new house after the boulevard Saint-Germain was built through his street. He chose to build on the rue Fabert across from the esplanade des Invalides in a section of the city where there was still little construction. The inauguration of the new hôtel took place in 1868 with the friends of the marquis attending in country clothes! Melchior installed himself on the first floor in 1879 while his children occupied the second floor. The hôtel was sold in the 20th century.
Bernard II van Risen Burgh, d. 1766, was the son of an ébéniste who specialized in, among other things, the production of clock cases. A resident of the Faubourg Sainte-Antoine, he retired on October 18, 1764 selling his business to his son. From 1730 on, he was independent of his father's workshop. Although he manufactured essentially for the marchands, his fame was such that his French name "Bernard" was printed in the 18th century sale catalogues and some of his clients bought pieces directly from him.
He delivered a number of pieces of furniture to T. J. Hébert from 1737 to 1750, when this marchand retired, and at the same time he was working for the marchands Lazare Duvaux, Henri Lebrun, Simon-Philippe Poirier and François Darnault. Like his father, he was the owner of a number of moulds for bronze mounts but he also called upon Pierre Regnault and certain marchands-merciers to supply him with bronzes.
Bernard II van Risen Burgh was particularly known for his production of furniture with Japanese lacquer, called vieux laque in the 18th century, which he and used on his furniture more often than many of his colleagues. Thomas-Joachim Hébert supplied a Japanese lacquer commode stamped BVRB (Musée du Louvre, OA 11193) in 1737 and in 1745 a commode for the Dauphine's bedroom at Versailles (Christie's, New York, 24 November, 1998, lot 25).
MACHAULT AND T. J. HÉBERT
Thomas-Joachim Hébert retired around 1750 and the Minister must have paid off his debt by settling an annuity on his supplier. On July 26, 1756 Jean-Baptiste de Machault gave to Thomas-Joachim Hébert, then advisor to the king, an annuity of 30,000 livres. This is the proof of the ties between the marchand and Minister. This annuity was paid off in part in 1767 and in 1768. With the marchand Hébert as intermediary, BVRB delivered to him at least the following:
- two meubles d'appui with porcelain panels, formerly Rothschild collection
- an armoire in red lacquer, Musée du Louvre, Patiño bequest, 1955, presently at Musée du Château de Versailles
- commode in coromandel lacquer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Emma A. Sheafer bequest, 1973-1974, 356.189
- bas d'armoire, sold, Paris, Hôtel Georges V, 15 April, 1989, lot 102
18th CENTURY ENCOIGNURES IN VIEUX LAQUE:
The ledger book of Lazare Duvaux mentions several pairs of Japanese lacquer encoignures:
- No 441 of [10 February, 1750]
to M La Frenaye (marchand-mercier), deux armoires d'encoignures plaquées en lacq ancien, garnies de bronze doré d'or moulu, avec les marbres de port-or, 1600 l.
- No 1588 of [4 December, 1753]
M Fabus deux armoires d'encoignures d'ancien lacq noir et ou garnies en bronze doré d'or moulu, avec les marbres de griotte d'Italie à double moulure, 2000 l
- No 2054 of 24 [January, 1755]
M. Masse deux grandes armoires d'encoignures d'ancien lacq garnies en bronze doré d'or moulu, avec les marbre de griotte d'italie à double moulure, 2000 l
- No 2410 of 20 [February 1756]
M de Gagny (Blondel de Gagny) deux encoignures de lacq, les marbres d'albâtre d'orient, 1800 l
- No 2982 of 29 [December, 1757]
Madame de Pompadour
deux encoignures d'ancien lacq garnies de bronze doré d'or moulu et de leurs marbres de vert campan, 1800 l
ENCOIGNURES STAMPED BVRB
- a pair with Japanese lacquer, with griotte marble tops, Collection of the Queen of England. See J. Harris and G. de Bellaigue, Buckingham Palace, London, 1968, p. 138
- a pair with Japanese lacquer, with brocatelle d'Espagne marble tops, formerly Patiño collection, sold Sotheby's, New York, 1 November, 1986, lot 83
- a pair with Japanese lacquer, stamped BVRB, with campan marble tops, Musée du Château de Versailles, V 5094, V 5095, formerly Patiño collection
- a pair with Chinese lacquer, with brêche d'Alep marble tops, formerly Henry Ford collection, sold Sotheby's, New York, 25 February, 1978, lot 78
- a pair with Japanese lacquer, with griotte marble tops, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris. See N. Gasc, Le Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris, 1991, p. 24
- a pair in Japanese lacquer, formerly Patiño collection, sold Sotheby's, New York, 1 November, 1986, lot 84, transformed and returned to their original condition