Bernard II van Risen Burgh, maître in 1730.
The 'C' couronné poinçon was a tax mark used in France betwen March 1745 and February 1749 on any alloy containing copper.
This majestic bureau de dame, with finely chiselled, sinuous mounts framing panels of sun-rayed parquetry, is a masterpiece of Bernard II van Risen Burgh, arguably the greatest cabinet-maker of the Louis XV period.
For years this celebrated maker was only known by the initials employed in his stamp, 'BVRB', until his true identity was discovered in the 1950's. Working almost exclusively for the most important marchands-merciers of the day such as Thomas-Joachim Hébert, Lazare Duvaux and Simon-Philippe Poirier, BVRB's work is characterized by an extremely refined constructional technique combined with extensive use of exotic materials such as Oriental and European lacquer, and, later in his career, Sèvres porcelain plaques. He was also credited with reviving the great marquetry tradition of the Louis XIV masters such as André-Charles Boulle, developing a particularly refined form of end-cut marquetry known as bois de bout marquetry, as seen on the charming interior of this bureau.
Many of the mounts employed by BVRB are unique to his oeuvre, leading to the conclusion that he either designed his own mounts, or retained a bronzier for his own exclusive use. His mounts are certainly characterized by an extreme delicacy of ciselure and retain a wonderful consistency of quality throughout his work. The sumptuous angle mounts of this bureau, known as chutes aux fleurs, cast with fruit, lush foliage and flowers, were one of the richest models used by BVRB. They feature on a bureau plat by BVRB supplied by the marchand-mercier Henri Lebrun in 1747 to the Dauphin, son of Louis XV, for the bibliothèque in his appartements at Versailles, now in a private collection in Paris (ilustrated in P. Verlet, Le Mobilier Royal Français, Paris, 1990, vol. IV, pp. 40-1). Another bureau plat by BVRB with chutes aux fleurs, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Lonsdale, was sold anonymously in these Rooms from the Blackwell Collections, 14 December 2000, lot 100 (£322,750).
Only one other example is recorded of this exceptional model of bureau de dame, with the rare feature in BVRB's oeuvre of striking panels of radiating parquetry, a bureau sold anonymously in these Rooms, 1 July 1976, lot 123.
Another bureau de dame by BVRB in the Palace of the Legion of Honour, San Francisco, features the chutes aux fleurs but with a different, somewhat simpler, pattern of parquetry (illustrated in C. Packer, Paris Furniture by the Master Ebénistes, Newport, 1956, fig. 55).