Made by Joseph in 1763, a bureau plat decorated with Sèvres porcelains was sold for € 6.9M including premium by Artcurial on December 13, 2005. Japanese lacquers bring an Oriental charm : a commode made by BVRB around 1750 was sold for $ 3.45M including premium by Sotheby's in October 2011.
The marchands-merciers are very busy at the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI. They serve as intermediaries between the royal family and the cabinetmakers. Taking advantage of the intense curiosity for exoticism at that time, they import from Asia the chests and screens from which they dismantle the lacquered panels. They also reuse Italian panels in pietra-dura. In both cases the scarcity of such materials excites the greed of the richest customers.
The best cabinetmakers in Paris are of German origin. Martin Carlin is the brother-in-law of Jean-François Oeben. He often collaborates with Adam Weisweiler. Around 1780 Carlin abandons porcelain to specialize in lacquer, a much more difficult technique because a crack or a burst is irreparable.
Carlin also used pietra-dura. He died in 1785. A pietra-dura paneled commode stamped both by him posthumously and by Weisweiler was sold for FF 46M including premium by Christie's on December 11, 1999.
On September 10 in Paris, Christie's sells an elegant ebony veneered bureau de pente stamped by Carlin circa 1780, lot 78 estimated € 400K. It is decorated with lacquer boards made in Japan according to three different techniques. The original client is not identified but this luxurious desk belonged later to the comte de Flahaut, a probable natural son of Talleyrand and the illegitimate father of the duc de Morny.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's to introduce the Beistegui collection.
SOLD for € 580K including premium