Philippe-Claude Montigny, maître in 1766.
The elegant, restrained lines of this bureau à la grecque is typical of the taste for understated neo-classicism of the 1760s and 1770s. The goût grec style was introduced in the 1750s by the architect Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain. Probably working in collaboration with a marchand-mercier such as Simon-Philippe Poirier, Le Lorrain's goût grec style was first realized in the designs for the celebrated suite of furniture supplied for the Parisian hôtel of the amateur Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully circa 1755, which included the bureau plat and cartonnier now in the Musée Condé at Chantilly, as well as the set of four meubles d'appui including that sold by the Marquess of Cholmondeley, Works of Art from Houghton, Christie's, London, 8 December 1994, lot 80.
Similar bureaux, sometimes also ornamented with inlaid Greek-key patterns to the frieze, were executed by a number of other cabinet-makers responding to this new style, including notably René Dubois, son of the renowned Louis XV cabinet-maker Jacques Dubois, and Claude-Charles Saunier.
Montigny, in particular, of all his contemporary ébénistes was known for this style à la grecque. A related bureau plat by Montigny, of similar proportion and goût grec style as well as the same drapery swag angle mounts as the example offered here is in a Private Collection (illustrated in A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, 1989, p. 306, fig. 344). Another example bearing the same angle mounts, originally in the collection of Monsieur and Madame B. de Mun, sold anonymously; Christie's, Monaco, 19 June 1999, lot 110.