Jean-Baptiste I Tilliard (1686-1766) maître in 1717.
With its distinctive heart-shaped cabochon flanked by floral trails, upswept foliate-carved toprail and sinous frame, this elegant canapé relates closely to the oeuvre of the celebrated menuisier. The heart-shaped motif which is arguably recognized as Tilliard's leitmotiv can be found on much of his documented oeuvre, including the pairs of fauteuils, bergères and chaises in the Wrightsman Collection illustrated in F.J.B Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol.I, p.48, p.66-67.R
Working closely with his son Jacques-Jean-Baptiste, who continued to use the same stamp after his father's retirement, Tilliard often employed other skilled sculpteurs such as Nicolas Heurtaut, Damien Quintel and Toussaint Foliot, which would explain why similar heart-shaped motifs can also be found in their production. Tilliard was made maître-menuisier du Garde-Meuble du Roi, counting amongst his distinguished patrons the Prince de Soubise and the marquise de Pompadour. From his atelier 'Aux Armes de France', one of the most important in Paris, Tilliard retailed much of his oeuvre through the marchand-mercier Julien-Etienne Olivier. Closely related canapés by Tilliard include one illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIè Siècle, Paris, 1998, p.836, while a further related example was sold at Christie's, Paris, 23 June 2005, lot 437 (EUR60,000 with premium).