The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Writing-table
  • Attributed to Charles Cressent (1685 - 1768)
  • France
  • c. 1725
    1965 (top re-lined with red leather, previously lined with black leather)
  • Pine, oak, purpleheart, walnut, gilt-bronze and leather
  • Object size: 78 x 196 x 97.7 cm
  • Label: Entry from the Bethnal Green catalogue
  • F111
  • Small Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This writing-table has in the past been attributed to François Lieutaud on the basis of a similar desk stamped with his mark at Waddesdon Manor, but more recent analysis finds that both are part of a series of desks probably made by Charles Cressent and connected by the gilt-bronze corner mounts of corseted female busts. They have the same construction characteristics as other furniture by Cressent and use the same veneers, with gilt-bronze mounts from his oeuvre such as the key-hole mounts and masks. It is likely that the 'FL' stamp on the Waddesdon desk can be explained by a sub-contracting relationship whereby Cressent provided furniture for Lieutaud to sell.
    The style of this desk is very much on the borderline between the styles of André-Charles Boulle and Charles Cressent. It conforms to a type of writing-table with female heads at the corners created by Boulle, with heavy C-scrolls dividing the side drawer fronts from the central recess and key-hole mounts of a similar conception. The same is true of the masks of Bacchus on either end, which look to Boulle for their inspiration.