Made under the direction of the merchant-merchant Simon-Philippe Poirier (circa 1720-1785).
Stamped by Martin Carlin and JME, cabinetmaker received master in 1766.
Louis XVI period, circa 1775.
Height : 88 cm. 88 cm ; Length of one side : 44 cm
- Delivered for the private furniture storage of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (1755-1793),
- Sale Paris, Arcole, June 27, 1989, lot 179.
The mark GR / W corresponds to the mark of the Grenier des Recollets in Versailles. Built in 1684 by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the convent's attic served as a storage room for Queen Marie Lezsczynska (died 1768), for the dauphine Marie-Josèphe de Saxe (died 1767) and for the dauphine Marie-Antoinette until an undetermined date, around 1784. The date of Martin Carlin's mastery, 1766, as well as the style of this furniture, exclude the possibility of a delivery for Marie Lezczyska as well as for the dauphine of Saxony.
This pair of corner pieces was therefore delivered for Marie-Antoinette's private furniture repository between the date of her marriage to the future Louis XVI in May 1770 and the beginning of the use of the circular mark of the queen's furniture repository at a date that is still uncertain, probably around 1784, the date of the complete reorganization of the administration of the royal furniture repository. The original location of the furniture is in the small apartments of the queen at the Château de Versailles, which Marie-Antoinette had occupied since the death of Queen Marie Lezczinska.
Martin Carlin worked mainly for the merchant Simon-Philippe Poirier, who in 1770 delivered the famous jewellery box to the dauphine Marie-Antoinette (Château de Versailles), also by Carlin and bearing the mark of the dauphine's furniture guard (GR/W). It is therefore very likely that the future queen bought her two corner pieces more or less at the same time also through Poirier, who asked his usual cabinetmaker since the death of BVRB.
Several pieces of furniture stamped by Martin Carlin show comparable marquetry. Let us quote in this respect the chest of drawers and the secretary of the Huntington Library (Passadena, California) as well as another secretary sold in New York at Christie's, on October 29, 2019, lot 1120.
Expert : Pierre-François DAYOT