Martin Carlin, maître in 1766.
Martin Carlin, one of the most accomplished ébénistes of the Louis XVI period, is more usually associated with jewel-like pieces mounted either in oriental lacquer or Sèvres porcelain, almost exclusively supplied through the marchands-merciers Simon-Philippe Poirier and Dominique Daguerre.
However a small group of pieces by Carlin, possibly produced early in his career, display bold, large-scale panels of parquetry filled with floret lozenges, as on this eye-catching table. These include a celebrated commode, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Mansfield, and two other commodes (all illustrated in A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, London, 1989, pp. 350-1), a further commode, probably originally supplied to the comte de Buffon and subsequently sold at Christie's London, 4 December 1980, lot 74, and another, formerly in the collection of Robert Goelet, New York, sold Christie's New York, 26 April 1994, lot 304.
Carlin married Jean-François Oeben's sister in 1759, and it is natural to assume that he worked closely with the great master early in his career, before he achieved his maîtrise. It is probable that during this period he developed his own distinctive style of parquetry, which clearly betrays Oeben's influence.
Interestingly, the trailing mount of laurel leaves at the top of the legs of this table is based on a model employed by Carlin. A porcelain-mounted table by Carlin featuring the same mount in the Nissim de Camondo Museum, Paris, is illustrated in N. Gasc and G. Mabille, The Nissim de Camondo Museum, Paris, 1991, p. 39.