Roger Vandercruse dit Lacroix maître in 1755.
Léonard Boudin, maître in 1761.
Established in the Cloître Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, Léonard Boudin became a marchand-ébéniste in 1772 and his oeuvre is arguably the most prolific of the Transitional period. Employing such ébénistes as Foullet, Denizot, Topino, and Roger Vandercruse, his stamp as marchand often appears alongside that of the maker. A 'grossiste du meuble' who possessed an enormous stock and often rented furniture to private clients, he counted such figures as the duc de Duras, the Prince of Orange and the duchesse d'Arenberg as his principal patrons. However, by 1777 his debts amounted to the colossal sum of 248,340 livres, while his assets did not exceed 10,000!
With its characteristic fitted interior, this secrétaire á abattant belongs to a distinctive group all almost certainly supplied through the intervention of Boudin (P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Franais du XVIIIème Siècle, Paris, 1989, p.88). These include one stamped by R.V.L.C sold from the celebrated collection of Paul Dutasta in Paris, 3-4 June 1926, lot 155 and again, anonymously at Sotheby's Monaco, 14 June 1982, lot 399; another, stamped by Boudin, sold anonymously at Sotheby's London, 25 May 1982, lot 132; and a further example, also stamped by Boudin, sold from the collection of Mrs. T.Chrysler Foy in New York, Parke Bernet Galleries, 16 May 1959, lot 323. This form of secrétaires á abattant is also illustrated in G.Janneau, Le Mobilier Franais, Paris, 1970, p.93 and in A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, London, 1989, p.271 & p.286.
Three further closely related secrétaires are now held in Museum collections:- one is in the Cleveland Museum of Art, another, formerly in the Polès collection, is in the Musée du Petit Palais, and a final example from the Grog bequest is now in the Louvre.