Designed in the Goût Grec style this ink-stand celebrates Apollo's poetic triumph on Mount Parnassus with laurels festooning its sacred-urn garniture, while Roman acanthus wraps its exotic triumphal-arched tray displaying garden vignettes in Chinese lacquer. One such ink-stand was listed in the sale of effects of Ange-Laurant de Lalive de Jully in 1769, and another closely related ink-stand is illustrated S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, pl. 86. A related encrier was used to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, while a further example is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo (see Guidebook Musée Nissim de Comondo, Union Central des Arts Décoratifs, Lausanne, 1973, p. 73, no. 370).
The Wernher inventory label is likely to be that of Sir Harold Wernher (d.1973), who inherited the celebrated art collections assembled by his father Sir Julius Wernher (d.1912) at Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire and Bath House, London. This ink-stand is likely to have formed part of the collection of French works of art displayed at Luton Hoo from the 1890s, and augmented by items brought from the London house in the l930s. The label is likely to date from the latter period.