Godefroy Dester, maître in 1774.
Georges Jacob, maìtre in 1765.
This magnificent chest-on-stand was supplied by the Parisian marchand-mercier Delaroue of rue de la Verrerie on the 18th December 1778 to the Comte d'Artois for his bed-chamber at Bagatelle at a cost of 1,578 livres, 15s. The delivery was recorded with the following detailed description:
The total cost of 1,578 livres 15s. was broken down as follows:
Le coffre de bois de chêne avec les baguettes de cuivre...78 l.
La couverture en maroquin bleu avec l'impression des panneaux en dentelles...280 l.
Les ornements du chiffre, armes et dorure d'or moulu et cizelure...780 l.
Les serrures a palastres dorées de Même, crochets, portants, rosettes et boutons cizelés et dorés de même...350 l.
2 aunes 3/8 de 15/16 blanc pour doubler les tiroirs, à 18 l...42 l. 15.s
La facon d'avoir ajusté les fontes et doublé les tiroirs...36 l.
Un miroir en bois d'acajou, glace de 12 po. 1/2 sur 10 po. 1/2 garni de ses ferrures dorées avec fond et valet...12 l.
The chest was supplied by the ébéniste Godefroy Dester. The stand, supplied by Georges Jacob, rue Meslée at a cost of 42 livres, was described as follows:
The stand was carved by the sculptor Rode at a cost of 144 livres:
This coffre de voyage was intended for the Prince's bed-chamber in the Pavillon de Bagatelle. Designed by the architect François-Joseph Bélanger and constructed in 1777 in just nine weeks, the result of a 100,000 livres wager between the comte d'Artois, youngest brother of Louis XVI, and Marie-Antoinette, the Pavillon de Bagatelle was conceived as a pleasure palace in the "antique" taste decorated with arabesques. Intended for the use of the Prince and his closest friends, even the comtesse d'Artois was never allocated an appartment. It also served as a convenient resting point for the Prince between Saint-Germain and the Palais du Temple in Paris. For a full description of the decoration of Bagatelle see "La Folie d'Artois", Exhibition Catalogue, 1988, pp.87-142.
The watercolor designs for the Prince's bed-chamber by Belanger, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale and illustrated in La Folie d'Artois, op.cit., pp.132-133, show a tented room supported by simulated tent poles carved as fasces, reflecting the Prince's military aspirations. This was echoed in the furniture, the mantel clock in the form of a Roman shield, the chimneypiece with cannon-shaped supports. Rode, the same sculptor who carved the stand for the chest, was commissioned to produce a three-dimensional model of the room, "plan et élévations et modèle en cire; le lit, plafond et tenture et posé glace à la cheminée; le tout formant l'étoffe'. The chest-on-stand probably took the place of the gilt commode with pieds-de bîche shown in the watercolors and which appears to have never been made. The walls were to be lined in yellow silk which was delivered but never put up, being replaced by a blue and white silk.
The comte d'Artois was one of the first emigrés, leaving for Turin in July 1789. His possessions were seized by the Revolutionary government and mostly sold to pay off his extensive creditors.
Claude Delaroue, marchand-miroitier, is recorded between 1746 and 1785 in the rue de la Verrerie at the sign of La Toilette Royale. He sold furniture, mirrors, fabric and all that was required for "la toilette". Both his grandfather and father had been lustriers du roi. He was a marchand ordinaire de la cour, supplying chandeliers, candelabra and a variety of furniture and meubles de toilette to the Garde-Meuble. He was a supplier to both the comte de Provence and the comte d'Artois, supplying a giltwood jewel coffer covered in crimson velvet to the comtesse de Provence on her marriage in 1771. He supplied numerous pieces to the comte d'Artois for Bagatelle and the Palais du Temple, including a pair of Paris porcelain-mounted commodes in 1785 for the Prince's bed-chamber at the Palais du Temple. One of the pair of commodes was sold from the collection of the Earl of Plymouth, Christie's London, 17 June 1987, lot 70. In common with the comte d'Artois' chest-on-stand, it was also made by Dester and supplied by Delaroue, underlining the strong collaboration which existed between these two. In 1779 Delaroue delivered a table de toilette for the Prince's bed-chamber at Bagatelle, followed by a writing table in 1780.