This elegant and richly-mounted bureau plat is one of a number of related examples, which are very similar in shape and the use of dark veneers, but show differences in the principal mounts. This relatively large group of bureaux has traditionally been attributed to Noël Gérard, whose stamp 'NG' appears on a bureau in the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, Paris, 1989, pp. 112-114). The group also includes, amongst others, one in the Bayerisches Museum, Munich, one in the Neue Residenz Bamberg (formerly in the Residenz, Munich), a further example in the Residenz in Ansbach, and a bureau sold from the collection of the Earl of Stair, Christie's London, 6 April 1978, lot 58. Further related examples were sold Sotheby's New York, 28 November 1995, lot 69; Sotheby's New York, 23 May 2003, lot 126 and Christie's London, 6 December 2007, lot 225.
The half-brother of the ébéniste Jacques Dubois, Gérard married the widow of a 'menuisier en ébène' in 1710 and initially established himself as marchand-ébéniste in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. His business prospered and in 1726 he became marchand-mercier, moving to the hôtel of the banker and connoisseur Jabach on the rue Neuve-Saint-Merry. It is thought that Gérard purchased various models of furniture and mounts from the atelier of the ébéniste André-Charles Boulle after his death in 1732 and one can certainly see much of Boulle's influence in Gérard's oeuvre. A richly-mounted ebony bureau plat attributed to Gérard, retailed by Nicolas Petit, and with mounts attributed to Boulle Fils, was formerly in the collection of George Seymour, Thrumpton Hall, Nottinghamshire, sold by the Trustees of Lord Byron's Will, Christie's London, 30 May 1968, lot 107, and most recently sold Christie's London, 9 December 2010, lot 15 (£109,250).