Clément Rousseau was part of a group of designers who pioneered the style that is today known as Art Deco. Rousseau's friend and fellow designer, Paul Iribe, purchased an old stock of skate skins from a Parisian skin merchant and encouraged Rousseau to work with them in his furniture designs. Working on his own, with no prior knowledge or treatise to follow, Rousseau revived the 18th century art of working with these pebble-textured skins. The use of galuchat was Rousseau's trademark and it became popular with other important designers of the Art Deco period. Rousseau went on to work for glamorous figures of the time, including Jacques Doucet, Robert de Rothschild and the Duchess de Vendôme.
Rousseau's output was extremely limited and his furniture today is rarely seen on the market. The small table in the Lawrence collection exhibits his classic combination of exotic materials: galuchat, palmwood and ivory.