Mathieu Criaerd, maître in 1738.
The C Couronné poinçon was a tax mark employed between March 1745 and February 1749 on any alloy containing copper.
A superb example of Mathieu Criaerd's early work of the mid-1740s, this elegant bureau is embellished with a geometric parquetry pattern which beautifiuly off-sets the fanciful rocaille mounts. This play of parquetry patterns in dark exotic woods and precious and finely-chased mounts, characteristic for Régence and early Louis XV Parisian cabinet-making, was mastered by celebrated ébénistes such as Charles Cressent, Carel, Latz and van Risenburgh, and Criaerd evidently started his career producing furniture in this style.
The outline of this bureau, with its softly curved sides and relatively low fall-front, relates to the splendid marquetry example supplied to the cabinet de retraite of the Dauphine in 1745 by his contemporary Bernard van Risenburgh (BVRB), whose luxurious furniture, both in marquety and lacquer, Criaerd must have admired and tried to emulate (D. Meyer, Versailles, Furniture of the Royal Palace, Dijon, 2002, vol. I, p. 108, no. 29). In 1748, Criaerd supplied a commode through the marchand mercier Joachim Hébert for the Dauphin's Private Cabinet at Versailles, which was described as '...une commode de bois violet à placages en mozaïques...' (D. Meyer, op. cit, p. 61, no. 11). Embellished with an identical pattern to the present bureau, it demonstrates Criaerd's supremely elegant individual style, which clearly gained him much acclaim among the Royal Family.