Jean-Charles Saunier, maitre in 1743.
This magnificent cylinder-bureau, of exceptionally grand scale, clearly reflects the influence of the ébéniste du roi Jean-François Oeben (maître in 1761). In the Inventory drawn up following Oeben's death in January 1763, two desks of this overall form, but almost certainly smaller, are recorded (J.J. Guiffrey, Inventaire de Jean-françois Oeben, 1763, Nouvelles Archives de l'Art français, 3e Série, TXV, 1899, p. 312 and 333), and the celebrated bureau du roi, now at Versailles, thought to be the earliest recorded cylinder top desk, also remained unfinished at the time of Oeben's death, being completed by Jean-Henri Riesener and finally delivered for the King's use in May 1769.
Jean-Charles Saunier, the eldest son of Charles Saunier, took over his father's atelier in the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine and is known to have worked for fellow tapissiers and, in particular for Oeben. In that Saunier's son Claude Charles only finally registered his maîtrise in 1765 with the intention of succeeding to his father's workshop, this cylinder-bureau is undoubteldy one of the earliest and grandest of its type, its early goût grec Greek-key pierced gallery very much in the vanguard of fashionable Parisian taste of the early 1760's.