The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Work-table
  • Probably Weisweiler Adam (1744 - 1820) , Cabinet Maker
  • Probably François Rémond (1747 - 1812), Gilder
    Probably Dominique Daguerre (died 1796), commissioned by
  • France
  • 1784 - 1789
    1875 - 1900 (black lining fitted in upper well and drawers)
  • Oak, mahogany, statuary marble, black velvet (lining shallow well under hinged top and three drawers below), gilt bronze, steel key
  • Object size: 90.2 x 63.2 x 49 cm
  • Label: 'No 8 / XVIII 14' Handwritten
  • F328
  • West Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Although this resembles a small chest-of-drawers, it is almost certainly a work-table, or table en chiffonnière. Such tables were described in a manual for cabinet-makers of 1771 as '...types of little chests-of-drawers, or one would rather say, little tables for use by ladies when they are working, either embroidering or sewing'. The marble top is hinged, and lifts up to reveal a shallow storage space, lined with velvet. The three drawers below also have hinged fronts that can be opened.
    It was probably made by Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820) for the dealer Dominique Daguerre (d. 1796) who supplied luxury objects and furniture to wealthy and aristocratic patrons in France, England and other parts of Europe. The gilt-bronze friezes around the top of the table, of exceptionally high quality, are from models owned by Daguerre and are found on pieces of furniture by other cabinet-makers, such as Martin Carlin. Both Weisweiler and Carlin are known to have worked regularly for Daguerre, who may have designed the table as well as supplying the mounts. Daguerre is known to have used the gilder François Rémond for his mounts, and this may be the model, comprising infant satyrs and goats, listed in Rémond's Journal as having been supplied to Daguerre in 1785, 1786 and 1787. The same friezes are found on a console table in the Wallace Collection (F317), probably also designed by Daguerre.
    The cabinet-making of this work-table is of the highest quality, characteristic of work by Weisweiler. The mahogany veneer, extremely fashionable in the 1780s, has been carefully chosen for its 'spotty' effect. The bulbous gilt-bronze balusters and columns on the front corners are found on other pieces stamped by Weisweiler.