Jean-Henri Riesener, maître in 1768.
This elegant writing table is a concentrated version of a commode à la grecque, the early neoclassic design introduced by Jean-François Oeben (maître in 1761, d.1763) and characterized by its rectilinear breakfronted form and lingering Louis XV cabriole legs. The model was popularized by Madame de Pomadour, who owned seventeen commodes of this model by Oeben at the time of her death in 1764 (A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, p. 258.) Jean-Henri Riesener was one of the chief craftsmen in Oeben's workshop, which ran under his stewardship after Oeben's death. Several pieces made between 1763-1768 bear the stamp of both ébénistes, and a number of pieces which were unfinished at the time of Oeben's death were completed and stamped by Riesener, which is certainly a possibility for this small writing table. The most prominent piece finished and stamped by Riesener from Oeben's workshop is the famous bureau à cylindre made for Louis XVI at Versailles, begun by Oeben in 1760 and delivered by Riesener in 1769.