WRITING AND TOILET
Samedi 30 mai 2015
ArtHitParade, Pierre TavlitzkiJean François Oeben was both a cabinetmaker and an engineer. He was born in Aachen and came early to Paris, but no details are known about his training. His work was acclaimed at the time of the Pompadour because he was the best, simply. He appears as a successor to the Boulle dynasty for the making of royal furniture.
In the early 1750s, he amazes the court and the highest nobility with a new model of furniture named table à coulisse (sliding table) when considering its design and table à deux fins (table for two purposes) for its use.
The originality of this type of furniture is the fact that internal compartments are not accessible by sliding drawers but through a mechanism regulated by a crank and triggered by a key. The table à deux fins includes the lockers for the bottles of toiletries and is deploying a writing desk that is repositioned by rotating for displaying the luxurious decoration of a lacquered panel.
Surrounded by the best workers of his time, Oeben takes advantage of the French tradition of great luxury with the finest bronzes, marquetries and lacquers.
Oeben worked on commission for the French monarchy and was not obliged to sign the royal furniture. An unsigned table à deux fins was sold for € 1,16M including premium by Sotheby's on 15 December 2003.
Another of these tables just resurfaced. Kept in a collection in Saarland and stamped by Jean François Oeben, it certainly was executed between 1754 and 1757 when the Count of Zweibrücken was building his palace of Jägersburg in imitation of the Grand Trianon.
This beautiful piece is estimated € 500K for sale by Rouillac in the château d'Artigny near Tours on June 7, lot 97. Here is the link to the website of the auction house. It is in a great working condition as demonstrated in the video shared by Rouillac: