Léonard Boudin, maître in 1761.
Charles Topino, maître in 1773.
Although stamped by the marchand-ébéniste Léonard Boudin, this table à écrire can be confidently attributed to Charles Topino of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, who specialised in the production of light pieces of furniture inlaid with caracteristic 'naif' marquetry depicting teapots, vases and utensils in the Chinoiserie taste. Such tables enjoyed widespread popularity between 1770 and 1775 and were almost certainly inspired by Chinese export coromandel lacquer screens, whose borders were frequently decorated with utensils and porcelain. Patronised by the European aristocracy and the marchands-merciers and marchands-ébénistes alike, particularly Dautriche, Denizot, Delorme and Boudin, Topino's prolific oeuvre as a specialist marqueteur is often obscured by the brands of his fellow ébénistes.
This table à écrire is closely related to that commissioned by Marie-Antoinette for Versailles. Almost certainly supplied by the ébéniste Charles Topino between 1774-76 and paid for from the Queen's cassette privée, it is first recorded by the ébéniste Paquet in 1784, when it was listed as 'une table de placage chinoise' in the appartements de la Reine.
Closely related tables by or attributed to Topino include the stamped example from the collection of Paul Dutasta, sold in Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, June 1926, lot 169 (and again from the collection of Dr.A.Brown, Sotheby's New York, 23 April 1977,lot 182); another, attributed to Topino from the collection of Alphonse de Rothschild, sold at Sotheby's Monaco, 21-22 May, 1978, lot 23; a further example from the Polès collection stamped L.Boudin, sold Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 24 June 1927; and a final example sold anonymously in these Rooms, 14 June 1990, lot 100 (£41,800).