11155

TABLE A VOLETS ATTRIBUTED TO A. BARRAUD UNUSUALLY VENEERED IN ‘NOEUD DE VIGNE’

French. Circa 1820

Measurements

Height: 29” (73.5cm);Width when open: 54 1/4” (137.5 cm); Width when closed: 33 1/4” (84.5 cm); Depth: 22” (56cm).

Research
Of noeud de vigne, satinwood, and brass. The rectangular top with fall flaps with panels edged with brass stringing inside a border filled with laburnum oysters, the top above a frieze set to the front with drawers lined with solid satinwood, the whole raised on outward facing scrolling s-shaped legs joined by a shaped x stretcher and raised on four outward curving feet.

This highly unusual table is almost identical in form to a table stamped A. Barraud (figure 1), formerly in the celebrated collection of Roger Imbert and illustrated in Denise Ledoux-Lebard, Les Ebénistes du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1984, p. 39.

The table shares the same strikingly fluid form of the present piece with the distinctive scrolling s-shaped legs joined by wavy x-stretchers and raised on stylized cabriole feet.

The table belongs to a small group of Continental furniture pieces veneered in ‘noeud de vigne.‘ This technique is created by cutting the end grain of vine tree branches that are laid in a pleasingly random pattern and infilled with cuts of the thinner shoots of the vine. An indication of the costliness and sophistication of this rare medium is the existence of an important Louis XVI régulateur à équation by Berthoud with enamel dials by Coteau, whose entire casing, attributed to Balthazar Lieutand, is inlaid using this technique (figure 2).1

In 1840 Barraud was established at premises at 26, rue Neuve Saint-Eustache and 66, rue Saint- Nicholas-d’Antin. His business seems to have thrived as in 1845 he acquired a further premises at 2, boulevard des Italiens.

A bureau by Barraud, today part of the collection of the Mobilier National, was formerly in the collection of the royal residence the Château de Meudon.2

The the present table is of exceptional quality, the use of solid satinwood or maple drawer linings apparently unprecedented. An extraordinary quality of craftsmanship is displayed in the overall execution and in the complexity of the design.

Footnotes:

  1. Formerly in the London art trade.
  2. Denise Ledoux-Lebard, Les Ebénistes du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1984, p. 39.

Full research report available on request.