Jean-François Leleu, mâitre in 1764.
This bureau plat, with its distinctive flower-filled frieze, closely resembles an example supplied in 1773 by Leleu to the prince de Condé for the Palais de Bourbon, described in a bill of 24 May 1773 as having 'dans la frize un entrelas et rosaces nuancés' (see A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Revolution, Paris, 1989, p. 340). The furniture supplied by Leleu to the Palais Bourbon was in an advanced neo-classical taste, and included a striking cylinder bureau, the whereabouts now unknown, and a marquetry commode with massive gilt paw feet (see S. Eriksen, Early Neoclassicism in France, London, 1974, pp. 322-5, figs. 127-130). A bureau plat closely related to this example was sold Sotheby's Monaco, 9 December 1984, lot 1054. A further commode by Leleu featuring an identical marquetry frieze, which is a particular leitmotif of Leleu's oeuvre, was sold Christie's New York, 23 October 1998, lot 175. This flower-filled entrelac frieze appears with minor variations on a secretaire in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1989, p. 508, fig. A, and a secretaire inlaid with the cypher 'M', sold Christie's Monaco, 5 December 1992, lot 34.