With its Japanese lacquer panels and rich caryatid mounts, the present secretaire relates to models executed by the celebrated ébéniste, Adam Weisweiler (see P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1989, p. 866, pl. A, and P. Lemonnier, Weisweiler, Paris, 1983, p. 67.
Although apparently unsigned, the choice of model, quality of the ormolu mounts and construction of this secretaire suggest that it may well be by Alfred Beurdeley, one of the late 19th century's most celebrated ébénistes. Born in 1847, Beurdeley (d. 1919), took over his father's business in 1875. The showrooms were located at the Pavillon de Hanovre, while his workshops were at 20 and 24 rue Dautancourt, Paris. He specialised in producing the most luxurious articles to the highest quality and was pre-eminent among the Parisian ébénistes, especially for the refinement of his ormolu, which was the best in Paris. Beurdeley's work is scarce, rarely signed, and only occasionally appears for sale. Using only the most magnificent models, he took as his reference articles from the Garde-Meuble National, which incorporated the remaining collections from the former Royal Palaces. He exhibited at the major International Exhibitions, such as Paris in 1878 and Amsterdam in 1883, and was awarded the Gold Medal at the Paris Universelle Exposition of 1889.