Jean-François Hache (1730-1796), the fourth of the twelve children of Pierre Hache, is the best known of this dynasty of ébénistes. Starting in his father's workshop, he set up on his own around 1754, producing both luxury and everyday items of furniture. The trade label fixed on this piece corresponds to that documented by R. Fontvieille, (La Dynastie des Hache, Grenoble, 1974, pl. VII, p. 92) out of the thirteen different labels used at different dates by this maker. This label was used in 1771-1772.
The use of exotic woods with burled and stained decoration seen on this secretaire is the most defining stylistic characteristic of the work of the Hache dynasty. The use of swagged urns and flower-filled oval medallions are motifs which were employed on a number of other pieces in the transitional years between Louis XV's and Louis XVI's reign, including an impressive bureau à cylindre in parquetry in a private collection and illustrated in P. and F. Rouge op. cit., pp. 496-503.