With its distinctive bold and masculine shape, this secrétaire reflects the fashionable goût grec which first developed in the late 1750s. It relates to the oeuvre of Pierre Garnier (1726-1806) who was one of the precursors of this fashion and was immediately inspired by the celebrated bureau plat made by Joseph Baumhauer for Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully, which is now at the Musée Condé at Chantilly (S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, figs. 85-89).
The structure with canted angles embellished with bold fluting headed by classical capitals and terminating in toupie feet also figures on a commode by Garnier which is illustrated in C. Huchet de Quénetain, Pierre Garnier, Paris, 2003, p. 129. A somewhat similar secrétaire, with plain bois satiné veneers embellished with restrained mounts which was previously in the collection of the baron de Rédé, is illustrated in A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, London, 1989, p. 251 fig. 260.
The specific design of the spirally turned ormolu feet was often used on Garnier's goût grec pieces of furniture. This element harks back to the Louis XIV style and this type of feet was for instance used on André-Charles Boulle's consoles.