CLAUDE CHARLES SAUNIER (PARIS, 1736 PARIS, 1807)
PAIR OF LIBRARIES
Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785
Satin veneer, boxwood and amaranth fillets, gilt bronze and glass
Stamp: C.C. SAUNIER (under the cornice and under the plinth)
H. 213 cm, W. 150 cm, D. 42 cm
These bookcases have a strictly rectilinear structure, with front corners with cut sides, opening in front by two partially glazed leaves. The glazed compartments have a spandrel cut-out at the corners, underlined by moulded discs of Gilded Bronze and have a thin chiselled Bronze border with foliage motifs. They each overlook a square compartment with satin veneer set in amaranth and light wood fillets, adorned with Greeks at the corners and lined with gilded bronze mouldings. Bronze discs similar to the previous ones punctuate the four corners of these low compartments, except for two of them, crowned with small garlands of laurel wreathed in ribbons, and forming a lock entrance for the one on the right leaf. The ensemble is crowned by a narrow cornice enhanced by a Bronze frieze with interlacing motifs and rosettes, and rests on a slightly protruding base, adorned in the centre with a polylobed cul-de-lampe enriched with a bronze clasp with cassolette and acanthus leaf motifs, and supported by four short straight legs, each decorated with a Bronze diamond. Floral scrolls and acanthus motifs visible at the ends of the front corners of each bookcase complete a discreet but rich Bronze decoration.
Claude-Charles Saunier, received master on July 31, 1752, was the most illustrious representative of a dynasty of Parisian cabinetmakers of the 18th century and was one of the best representatives of the Louis XVI style. His style, based essentially on the simplicity of ornamentation and the enhancement of the veneers, was established between 1760 and 1774. During this period he produced furniture characterised by straight lines, perfectly delimited by Bronze frames and Wooden fillets decorated with rosettes and Greek motifs at the corners. His most productive period was undoubtedly the time of Louis XVI. The harmony of proportions, the discretion of the decorative ornaments, the high quality of the materials and the delicacy of the Bronzes characterise a work that was particularly varied, including chests of drawers, bookcases, day-tables, secretaries, in-between furniture, corner pieces, consoles, game tables, etc.
Its prestigious clientele testifies to its success and the quality of its production. In 1787, François Henri, Duke of Harcourt, Lieutenant General of the King's armies in 1762, then Governor of the Dauphin in 1786, had a secretary in a cabinet stamped Saunier delivered to him by the merchant merchant Dominique Daguerre. The Count of Narbonne, Louis XVI's Minister of War, was also one of his clients, as were several important farmer-generals such as Jean-Baptiste Roslin d'Ivry, and foreign clients, notably English, such as Lord and Lady Spencer. Because of the quality of these orders, Claude-Charles Saunier's reputation in the years 1780-1790 made him one of the greatest cabinetmakers of the Louis XVI period.
Automatically translated by DeepL. To see the original version, click