In its line, proportions and certain characteristics of the construction - particularly the removable top - this bureau plat is closely related to the oeuvre of Bernard van Risenburgh (matre in 1730). Arguably the most celebrated bniste of the Louis XV period, BVRB worked almost exclusively for the marchands-merciers, in particular Thomas-Joachim Hbert, Lazare Duvaux and, subsequently, Simon-Philippe Poirier and thus, except for documented commissions for the Garde-Meuble Royal and the Residenz, the vast majority of his patrons remain unidentified. He did, however, supply a bureau plat of closely related form, although more elaborately mounted, to Hbert for the Dauphin's use at Versailles in 1745 (A. Pradre, Les Ebnistes Franais de Louis XIV la Rvolution, Paris, 1989, p.187, fig. 172). A further bureau plat by BVRB with sparer mounts, particularly framing the drawers, which is of very similar character to this example, was sold from the Wildenstein/Ojjeh Collection, Sotheby's Monaco, 25 June 1979, lot 46 (op. cit., p.186, fig. 170).
Although the ormolu mounts on this bureau plat are probably replaced (they could conceivably have just been regilded and refinished), they are almost certainly casts of the original mounts, as there are no signs of previous fixture-holes to the veneer and they correspond directly both stylistically and chronologically. This practice of making up a pair by transposing original ormolu mounts onto a later copy of a piece of furniture, while placing new, after-cast mounts onto an old veneered surface, was relatively widespread in the mid-19th century. This practice is in evidence on a pair of commodes at Waddesdon Manor (G. de Bellaigue, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor Furniture Clocks and Gilt Bronzes, vol. I, London, 1974, no. 45-6, pp. 207-17). Assuming, therefore, that ormolu mounts of this distinctive model have always embellished this bureau plat, it is interesting to note that the same angle-mounts appear on commodes stamped by two marchands-bnistes, Jacques-Philippe Carel (matre in 1723) and Jacques Dubois (matre in 1742). These commodes are illustrated in A. Pradre, op. cit., p.141, fig 109 and p.170, fig. 147 respectively.