This impressive centre table, with its powerful Vitruvian scroll frieze centred by à l'antique bearded masks, is conceived in the style of the earliest, most austere phase of neo-classicism, the goût grec of the late 1750's and 1760's. It is perhaps most directly inspired by the famous bureau plat and cartonnier made for the celebrated amateur Lalive de Jully, designed by the architect Louis-Joseph le Lorrain and executed by Joseph Baumhauer with mounts by Philippe Caffiéri, made at the astonishingly early date of circa 1754, now in the Musée Condé, Chantilly (illustrated in S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, fig. 85).
The same rigorous combination of à la grecque mounts on an ebony ground is shared by a table formerly in the collection of Sir Anthony de Rothschild, illustrated in F.J.B. Watson, Louis XVI Furniture, London, 1973, fig. 109. A 19th century copy of this latter table was sold from the collection of Partridge, Christie's, New York, 17 May 2006, lot 130 ($200,000 exc. premium).