The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Toilet and writing-table
  • Toilet and writing-table
  • Pierre Garnier (c. 1720 - 1800)
  • France
  • 1760 - 1765
  • Oak, amaranth, gilt bronze, blue leather, blue silk drawer linings, gold braid, gilt-brass containers, glass mirror, pinewood cores of legs, brass castors, griotte marble
  • Object size: 80.8 x 87.1 x 51.8 cm
  • Stamp: 'P. GARNIER'
    Inscription: 'Demoulin 1792' In pencil
    Inscription: 'Milieu' In red crayon
  • F125
  • West Gallery III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This signed table is a fine example of the multi-functional objects that helped make life more comfortable in eighteenth-century France. Beneath the marble top is a drawer that pulls out to reveal a hinged writing-panel lined with blue leather tooled with a gilt border, to the right of which are three gilt-brass containers for writing materials. The writing panel can be raised up by silk tabs to reveal the interior of the drawer which is lined with royal blue watered silk, and it can be turned over to reveal a looking glass which is designed to rest against the gilt-bronze frame around the top of the cabinet, thus serving as a toilet mirror. Underneath, double doors hide three drawers which are lined in the same royal blue watered silk (probably nineteenth-century).
    Pierre Garnier (c. 1720-1800) developed a highly characteristic style in the neo-classical manner, even the goût grec, and was one of the pioneers of this new style in furniture. This table was probably made in the early 1760s when he was influenced by the designs of the architect Charles de Wailly which were exhibited at the Salon of 1761.