JOSEPH SCHMITZ (Maître en 1761)
SECRÉTAIRE DE PENTE France, Louis XV period Rosewood and satin
finish Stamp: SCHMITZ H. 92 cm, W. 99 cm, D. 44 cm
This sloping secrétaire en pente displays on the flap, the belt and the sides a decoration of vegetal scrolls inscribed in scrolled cartouches. When open, the cabinet reveals a locker and three small drawers whose ornamentation echoes the outer veneer. Standing on four high, slightly curved legs, it embodies the refinement typical of Louis XV period creations.
A feminine piece of furniture par excellence, the secretary was used to hide secret correspondence. It was therefore the perfect ally of married women and their initials. In fact, it was at the centre of the scandal of the Affaire du
Collier involving Queen Marie-Antoinette and was almost used as evidence.
As for the cabinetmaker, Joseph Schmitz obtained his master's degree on June 18, 1761. Born in Paris, he worked on rue de Charonne for about twenty years. He produced "furniture of excellent workmanship, sometimes luxuriously decorated with flower marquetry [...], mostly in the Louis XV style." (in Pierre
Kjellberg, Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle, Les Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1989, pp. 795-797).
Automatically translated by DeepL. To see the original version, click