A Tale of Two Secrétaires, The Wallace Collection, until 29th August
The love and high regard for 18th century French furniture led to furniture makers in Paris and London copying many of the best pieces for wealthy clients in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These pieces were greatly prized by their owners and indeed could cost more than original pieces. At the Wallace Collection there is a copy of the Louis XV “bureau de roi” and another of the writing-table of the Elector of Bavaria which are very fine examples of this kind of commission.
However the focus of this piece is the showing in the museum’s Conservation Display area of the Collection’s 18th century Secrétaire à Abattant by Pierre-Antoine Foullet (c1777) and a 19th century version by Maison Rogié of Paris (c1880). As the image shows they are featured side by side and it allows a great opportunity to see the differences in the techniques in their construction and finish. The 19th century Secrétaire is loaned by Butchoff Antiques who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year.
The image is copyright