With its slender cabriole chamfered legs and the finely-chased foliate mounts adorning its frieze, this elegant table is characteristic of the oeuvre of Bernard II Van Risenburgh ('BVRB'), maître circa 1735, and is closely-related to the example which is illustrated in the 1758 portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher. The latter table is recorded in the catalogue of the sale of Boucher's estate in 1771: '1006 - Un vide-poche, fait par Bernard, il est en bois de rose et amarante, le dessus de bois de violette entouré d'un quart de rond, chute, sabots et ornements de bronze doré. Hauteur 25 pouces, longeur 15 pouces 6 lignes, largeur 10 pouces 9 lignes.'
This celebrated model belongs to an identifiable group, all stamped by, or attributed to B.V.R.B., which displays minor differences in the shape of the apron, the design of the ormolu mounts or the marquetry. From the extant number, it is likely that this group of small bois de bout marquetry tables were all made for sale by the same marchand-mercier, probably Lazare Duvaux, who is known to have supplied furniture by van Risenburgh to Madame de Pompadour (F.J.B. Watson, The Antique Collector, December 1960, p. 227).
This group can be subdivided into two categories: the first, with a fixed top, is typically fitted with at least one writing-surface, the side drawer, with an inkwell. This type of table was only ever used for writing and an example of this type is recorded in an inventory of Madame de Pompadour's château de Saint-Hubert: 'Une table à écrire en bois de rose et fleurs de bois de violette ayant par devant un tablette à coulisse couverte de maroquin noir, à droit un tiroir à clef garni d'encrier, poudrier et boite d'éponge.'
The second group, which includes the present example, is typically fitted with a hinged top enclosing various compartments. Examples of such tables en chiffonières include two tables in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol. 1, cat. nos. 125 and 126) and another sold from the Alexander Collection, Christie's, New York, 30 April 1999, lot 102 ($420,500).