Martin Carlin, maître in 1766.
Nicholas-Pierre Séverin, maître in 1757.
This jewel-like table, retaining almost all of its original highlighted engraving to the marquetry, is a rediscovered masterpiece by Martin Carlin. Until now, only the stamp of the marchand-ébéniste Severin had been noted - and indeed although Carlin's stamp is not obliterated entirely, it is sufficiently indistinct to suggest that Severin may have disguised it when retailing the table.
With its breakfronted-treatment of the panelled frieze, octagonal fluted tapering legs with gadrooned capital, upspringing chandelles above stiff-leaf and acanthus-cup sabots often with castors, this table belongs to an exceptional group. All executed by Carlin, apparently exclusively for the marchands-merciers, particularly Simon-Philippe Poirier and his successor Dominique Daguerre, this group is embellished with either Sèvres porcelain or marquetry. Of these:-
- the earliest and most expensive, mounted with Sèvres porcelain plaques, was sold by Poirier to madame du Barry in 1772 for 5,500 livres. Now in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, it is discussed in P. Coutinho, 18th Century French Furniture, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, 1999, no.25, pp.241-253.
-a second, with obliterated stamp and Sèvres porcelain plaques dated 1778, was sold anonymously at Sotheby's New York, 5 November 1998, lot 462 ($2,972,500). In that Poirier and, after 1777 his successor Daguerre enjoyed a virtual monopoly over the purchase of porcelain plaques produced at the Sèvres manufactory for furniture, it is fair to assume that this was ordered by Daguerre.
-A third table of this form, decorated in a marquetry of linked ovals enclosing foliate lozenges and stamped by Carlin, is in the Widener Collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (Acc. no. C-278).
Three further tables by Carlin of similar form, but with variations in the mounts and surmounted by exceptional specimen marble tops are known. Of these, one decorated with Japanese lacquer was sold from the collection of the late André Meyer, Christie's New York, 26 October 2001, lot 50 ($1,431,500); another, decorated in Louis XVI 'Boulle' marquetry, was sold from the collection of Francis Guérault, Paris, 31 March 1935, lot 96; and the last, decorated in ebony, was sold from the collection of Jacques Doucet, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 7-8 June, 1912, lot 333, resold Ader Picard Tajan, Palais Galliera, Paris, 24 November 1976, Lot 111.