This pair of consoles epitomize the pittoresque style of the 1730's. Their female bust supports with feather headdresses and impressively carved frieze centered with a mask relate closely to the designs of Nicolas Pineau (1684-1754). As seen with the Pineau design illustrated here, the pair of consoles share the serene figural bust supports and mask-centered frieze. The delicate scrolled acanthus tendrils that entwine the legs and drape from the frieze as well as the dolphins emerging from the stretcher anticipate the naturalistic, more asymmetrical designs of the Rococo. Yet, the earlier influence of the more rectilinear earlier Regence and Louis XIV eras remain with the flattened x-form stretcher and illustrate the transition between the two distinctive styles.
Related center tables with female bust supports, a heavily carved frieze with a strapwork ground, central mask frieze and pierced scrolling foliage as well as a flattened scrolled stretchers with a central circle are illustrated in the Chambre de Louis XV at Versailles in Fiske Kimball's Le Style Louis XV Origine et Evolution du Rococo,Paris, 1949 fig 232 as well as at the Narbonne Museum and illustrated in S. de Ricci, Louis XIV und Regence, Stuttgart, 1929, p. 178. A similar pair of console tables sold Christie's, London, 13 June 2002, Property of a Lady of Title, lot 243.
The son of the court sculpteur Jean-Baptiste Pineau, Nicolas Pineau studied architecture under Jules Hardouin Mansart and Germain Boffrand. In 1716, Pineau accompanied the architect Alexandre-Jean-Baptiste le Blond to Russia where he assisted in decorating the interiors of Peterhof Palace. Pineau returned to Paris in 1727 and continued to work with architects such as Jean-François Blondel to create several significant interiors, including the hotel d'Orrouer and the hotel de Rouille in 1732 as well as the hotel de Mazarin in 1734. Concurrently, his designs were also published in J.J Marriette's L'Architecture Franise, 1727-1738 and Nouveaux Dessins de Tables et de Vases et Consoles de Sculpture en Bois, 1734. These designs as well as his interiors were highly influential in the establishment and dissemination of the genre pittoresque, which was the term Blondel used to describe the early French Rococo.