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Table

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1775-1785 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jansen, George, born 1726 - died 1785 (designed and made)
    Cosson, Jacques Laurent
    de Loose, Daniel (designed and made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oak, softwood and walnut, veneered with holly, sycamore, barberry, tulipwood, pearwood, white beam, walnut, purplewood, olive, boxwood, ivory and mother-of-pearl. Gilt-brass mounts.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    1039A/1 to 3-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is one of two near-matching tables that were given to the V&A in 1882 by the military tailor John Jones. Jones had a very large and important collection of 18th-century French furniture which he kept in his London house at 95 Piccadilly. The collection was carefully arranged throughout the house, with related objects grouped together. In addition to the two tables, Mr Jones also owned an embroidery stand (Museum number: 1042-1882) decorated with a very similar marquetry scene.

Physical description

Carcase of oak and softwood. The drawers are of walnut with oak fronts. The case veneered with holly, sycamore, barberry, tulipwood, pearwood, white beam, walnut, purplewood, olive, boxwood, ivory and mother-of-pearl. Gilt-brass mounts. The underside of the front rail is stamped twice, at the right side: 'J.L. COSSON' and 'JME'. The underside of the back rail is stamped, towards the centre: 'G. JANSEN JME' and 'D. DE LOOSE JME'.

The desk is rectangular with four tapering legs that end in brass feet. A brass gallery runs around the three outer edges of the table top. Beneath the top is a sliding shelf for writing, covered in dark pink velvet with silver braid for edging. There is a lockable drawer on either side of the table.

The whole top is decorated with a marquetry design in which is represented, against an architectural background, a man offering a basket of flowers to a woman on the right and a seated woman taking flowers from a basket on the left. The stand is decorated with scrolling foliage and pateras.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1775-1785 (made)

Artist/maker

Jansen, George, born 1726 - died 1785 (designed and made)
Cosson, Jacques Laurent
de Loose, Daniel (designed and made)

Materials and Techniques

oak, softwood and walnut, veneered with holly, sycamore, barberry, tulipwood, pearwood, white beam, walnut, purplewood, olive, boxwood, ivory and mother-of-pearl. Gilt-brass mounts.

Dimensions

Height: 73.5 cm, Width: 73 cm, Depth: 42.3 cm closed, Depth: 52 cm slide pulled out slightly, Width: 82 cm with drawer extended

Object history note

This table and its near-matching pair (1039A-1882) were formerly in the collection of the military tailor John Jones. Mr Jones bequeathed a large collection of furniture, paintings, ceramics, metalwork, glass and books to the V&A in 1882. Before his death, the collection was kept in his London house at 95 Piccadilly. Mr Jones also owned an 18th-century embroidery stand (converted in the 19th-century to a writing stand) with a marquetry panel of very similar design to this table's top. The stand (1042-1882) is also stamped by Georg Jansen.

Historical context note

In 18th-century France small writing tables such as this would have been personal furniture, owned and used by a particular individual. They almost always had lockable drawers in which writing equipment could be kept. Small writing tables were kept in bedrooms and sitting rooms, ideally placed near a fireplace or window. As they were small, light objects, they could be moved easily around the room depending on the time of day or the way the room was being used.

Descriptive line

Writing table, with near-matching pair. Rectangular, with tapering legs and gilt-brass mounts. French (Paris), c. 1780, stamped by George Jansen (master 1767), Jacques Laurent Cosson (master 1765) and Daniel de Loose (master 1767)

Labels and date

[Label text by Peter Thornton]
Table
French (Paris); about 1780
Stamped 'G. Jansen' and 'J.M.E.'
Veneered with intricate marquetry of various woods and with bone. Gilt bronze fittings. This may once have had small brass feet

Georges Jansen and David de Loose became masters in 1767. Jacques-Laurent Cosson had achieved this status two years earlier. It if difficult to explain the presence of all three names on this table. It is possible that Jansen executred the marquetry only

Jones Collection
Museum No. 1039A-1882 [1971]

Materials

Oak; Softwood; Walnut; Holly; Sycamore; Barberry; Tulipwood; Pearwood; Purplewood; Olive; Boxwood; Ivory; Mother of pearl; Brass; Velvet; Material

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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