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Work table

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1776 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carlin, Martin (maker)
    Boulanger, Jean-Pierre père (painted)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Veneered with tulipwood, purplewood, holly and stained wood on carcase of oak; set with porcelain plaque and gilt-brass mounts; velvet and watered silk drawer lining, edged with braid; gilt brass mounts, castors of lignum vitae

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    1067-1882

  • Gallery location:

    Furniture, Room 135, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery, case BY1, shelf EXP

The V&A has two versions of this delicate work table. The other (Museum number 1058-1882) has a slightly more elaborate porcelain plaque, painted with a central basket of flowers. Both were purchased in the nineteenth century by the London collector John Jones, who bequeathed them to the Museum as part of his large collection of French decorative arts. From the 1760s onwards, the French cabinet-maker Martin Carlin, whose stamp appears on this piece, made a speciality of producing small-scale luxury furniture set with painted porcelain plaques. A hundred years later, such pieces were keenly sought by collectors, and John Jones followed the fashion in buying several small pieces set with porcelain or Japanese lacquer.

Physical description

A double-tiered circular work table, raised on a tripod support, the top tier set with a Sèvres porcelain plaque decorated with sprigs of flowers, the lower tier set with marquetry of scrolls. The table is veneered with tulipwood and other woods on a carcase of oak, the drawers lined with velvet and watered silk and edged with braid; drawer fittings of gilt-bronze and castors of lignum vitae.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1776 (made)

Artist/maker

Carlin, Martin (maker)
Boulanger, Jean-Pierre père (painted)

Materials and Techniques

Veneered with tulipwood, purplewood, holly and stained wood on carcase of oak; set with porcelain plaque and gilt-brass mounts; velvet and watered silk drawer lining, edged with braid; gilt brass mounts, castors of lignum vitae

Marks and inscriptions

'M.CARLIN JME'
Stamped on the underside of the top tier. Mark of the cabinet-maker Martin Carlin, with the initials of the juré des menuisiers-ébénistes

Crossed L's enclosing the letter B, in manganese purple
Painted on the back of the plaque. The crossed L's were the mark of the Sèvres factory, the letter B was the mark of the painter and gilder, probably that of Jean-Pierre Boulanger, active 1754-85

Dimensions

Diameter: 37.7 cm porcelain plaque, Thickness: 1.2 cm porcelain plaque, Height: 76 cm, Diameter: 67.2 cm

Object history note

In the collection of John Jones before 1882

Descriptive line

Work table (Table à ouvrage), French, 1776, veneered in tulipwood and set with porcelain and gilt bronze mounts; with the stamp of Martin Carlin. Possibly commissioned by Simon-Philippe Poirier and Dominique Daguerre.

Materials

Oak; Tulipwood; Sycamore; Boxwood; Porcelain; Gilt brass; Velvet; Silk; Lignum vitae; Purplewood; Holly

Techniques

Cabinet-making; Veneering

Subjects depicted

Flowers

Categories

Furniture; Needlework accessories

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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