Philippe-Claude Montigny, matre in 1770.
This table crire was almost certainly acquired for Longleat by Thomas, 2nd Marquess of Bath (1765-1837). Succeeding to the title in 1796, he engaged the Prince Regent's architect Sir Jeffrey Wyattville to remodel many of the interiors between 1806-1818 and again, between 1829-31. A celebrated antiquarian, the 2nd Marquess was a particular admirer of 'Buhl', and indeed not only bought superlative examples by Andr-Charles Boulle himself (such as the Louis XIV floral marquetry bureau still at Longleat), but also commissioned new pieces that incorporating ealier panels of marquetry, such as the 'two New Cabinetts with Buhl ends...., Old Drawer fronts' which Thomas Parker of Air Street supplied in 1812 (C. Cator, 'Furniture at Longleat', Christie's International Magazine, December 1996, pp.66-7). It is, therefore, only natural that his taste should be drawn to the oeuvre of Philippe-Claude Montigny, who is perhaps best known for his antiquarian creations inspired by Boulle, and indeed often incorporated panels of the latter's 17th century marquetry, such as the secrtaire that featured in the sale of the collection of M. de Billy in 1784, which is now conserved in the J. Paul Getty Museum (A. Pradre, Les Ebnistes Franais de Louis XIV la Rvolution, Paris, 1989, pp.306-7).
A pair of tables en chiffonire of identical form, formerly in the collection of the Rt. Hon. G.F. Cavendish-Bentinck, unstamped but attributed to Montigny, was sold anonymously at Christie's Monaco, 5 December 1992, lot 18.
It is interesting to note that the distinctive satyr-mask angle-mounts were not a model used exclusively by Montigny, as they feature on a Chinese lacquer-mounted secrtaire abattant by Ren Dubois (matre in 1755) illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Franais du XVIIIe Sicle, Paris, 1989, p.279, fig. C. It is, therefore, particularly pertinent that these two bnistes are known to have collaborated, particularly on the series of bureau plats la Grec which are often stamped by both Dubois and Montigny, (such as the ebony bureau plat sold anonymously at Sotheby's Monaco, 17 June 1988, lot 741). In all likelihood these were sold by Dubois, acting as a marchand from his shop in the rue Charenton and actually executed by Montigny.